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Doctor to Be Arraigned on Drug Charge

December 15, 1987|JIM CARLTON | Times Staff Writer

An unlicensed Anaheim doctor is to be arraigned today on federal charges that he trafficked in controlled prescription drugs while illegally practicing medicine.

Gerard F. Smith, 64, a cosmetic surgeon, was arrested Saturday morning in a restaurant across the street from his medical office at 710 S. Brookhurst St. Investigators from the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance and federal Drug Enforcement Administration took Smith into custody after a joint six-month investigation.

Smith allegedly used phony documents to order and receive 600,000 dosage units of controlled substances from various pharmaceutical drug companies between January, 1986, and July of this year, authorities said. The drugs allegedly included such common pharmaceuticals as Valium.

Smith, who faced similar charges four years ago that were dropped after the state revoked his medical license, has been held in the federal lockup at Terminal Island. A determination on bond is to be made in his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Ralph J. Geffen.

Felix Rodriguez, a supervising investigator for the medical board, said, "We've had quite a few" cases involving non-practicing or unlicensed doctors dispensing prescription drugs illegally.

For the non-practicing doctor--one who has simply quit seeing patients--Rodriguez said the crimes are difficult to detect because the doctors continue to have their DEA registration numbers, which entitle them to order controlled drugs directly from manufacturers.

Prescription drugs cannot be dispensed without a medical examination from a practicing doctor.

Smith's DEA registration number was revoked because his medical license was pulled. He is accused of falsifying a new DEA number as well as a state medical certificate after his license was revoked in August, 1985.

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