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Special Agents with the DEA arrested an Orange County doctor on federal charges that allege he illegally distributed opioid and other powerful narcotics by writing prescriptions for “patients” without medical examinations and to at least five individuals who suffered overdose deaths.

One man who allegedly obtained prescriptions from the doctor was involved in a car accident last month that killed a bicyclist who was a captain with the Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Department.

Dzung Ahn Pham, 57, of Tustin, who owns Irvine Village Urgent Care, was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint that charges him with two counts of illegally distributing oxycodone. The complaint alleges that Pham issued prescriptions for the controlled substance outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Pham was selling prescriptions to “patients” who were drug addicts and/or who were selling the drugs on the black market. A review of the CURES database shows that Pham issued “an extremely high amount” of prescriptions over a three-year period, and the types of drugs prescribed to certain patients would lead to “higher risks for addiction, overdose and overdose death,” according to the affidavit.

Investigators learned that a CVS pharmacy in Irvine stopped accepting prescriptions from Pham more than five years ago when the doctor could not justify the number of opioid pills he was prescribing to individual patients.

During two undercover operations this past summer that are discussed in the affidavit, a DEA agent quickly and easily obtained prescriptions for narcotics, including “a triple threat,” also referred to as a “Holy Trinity, [which] is the combined use of an opioid (such as hydrocodone), a benzodiazepine (such as Valium), and carisoprodol (a muscle relaxer like Soma).” Pham allegedly steered the undercover agent to an Irvine pharmacy that filled many of his prescriptions.

The affidavit contains text messages in which “patients” seek prescriptions, sometimes asking for specific quantities of particular narcotics in specific dosages. “[A]t least 84 of those patients had their prescriptions filled on the same day or within the next two days of their text messages,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also details a text message sent by Pham, who expressed concern after receiving information that the individual who fatally shot 12 people last month at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks had in his possession prescriptions for someone else, but which Pham had prescribed.

Between 2013 and September 2018, Pham deposited over $5 million, mostly in cash, into bank accounts held by Pham and his wife, according to the affidavit, which notes the he also deposited approximately $1.7 million, likely derived from insurance payments, into a business bank account.