A California dentist was sentenced to one year of supervised release to resolve claims that he wrote opiate prescriptions to drug dealers in exchange for cocaine, according to an article published on November 25 in the East Bay Times.
Dr. Alireza Moheb, the owner of five Unlimited Smiles offices in the San Francisco Bay area, pleaded guilty to one count of U.S. drug conspiracy. Moheb avoided jail time due to mitigating factors, including his own drug addiction, according to the story.
In 2021, the dentist was charged with writing prescriptions for 555 Norco pills for his co-defendants, Kevin Ramirez and Ramon De La Torre Ramos, who were reportedly involved in a drug ring. Moheb claimed that Ramirez was doing construction at his home when he offered him cocaine to deal with his chronic pain, according to the story.
In a lengthy apology to the court, Moheb said his chronic pain inhibited his ability to practice dentistry and disrupted his life. Desperate to get relief, Moheb reportedly agreed to write fake prescriptions for painkillers in exchange for cocaine. The dentist, who referred to himself as an addict, claimed that he didn’t know the drug dealers would redistribute the painkillers he prescribed.
Authorities accused the dentist of attempting to prevent his fake prescriptions from being detected. In November 2019, Moheb purportedly sent an angry text message to one of the co-conspirators claiming that his staff would file a complaint against a pharmacist who refused to fill one of the dentist’s prescriptions for codeine syrup, according to the article.
Last March, Ramos pleaded guilty to a drug charge and is awaiting sentencing. Ramirez’s case remains open.