Las Vegas doctor pleads guilty in oxycodone trafficking case – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas physician Victor Bruce pleaded guilty Tuesday in an ongoing federal investigation into the unlawful trafficking of the prescription painkiller oxycodone.

Bruce, 49, pleaded guilty in December to one felony count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon set an Oct. 9 sentencing date.

Afterward, Bruce’s attorney Richard Schonfeld said Bruce is remorseful for his actions.

“Dr. Bruce has accepted responsibility for a terrible mistake that he made,” Schonfeld said.

Earlier this month, Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said four more doctors are under investigation for prescription crimes in the Las Vegas area.

The Bruce investigation has targeted two other physicians known to prescribe large amounts of oxycodone, as well as a pharmacy alleged to have filled phony prescriptions for a drug trafficking organization, according to court documents.

Bruce, who considers himself a specialist in pain management, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 11. He is free on his own recognizance.

While under indictment, he has continued to run his Swan Lake Medical Center on Hualapai Way but has been barred from prescribing pain medication.

In court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane Pomerantz told Gordon that Bruce might have prescribed painkillers in violation of his pretrial release nine times since Dec. 19 and prosecutors were seeking records to confirm it.

Schonfeld said Bruce denies violating the terms of his release.

But if the records show the prescriptions were made by Bruce, prosecutors would seek to revoke the terms of his release, Pomerantz said.

Bruce’s indictment was part of an investigation that focused on alleged trafficking of oxycodone in Nevada and Kentucky by a man identified in court documents as Robert Wolfe, who was known by the nickname “old man.”

Bruce on Tuesday admitted that he unlawfully provided Wolfe with oxycodone prescriptions.

Wolfe last year bragged to an undercover federal drug agent that he once had as many as 3,000 people going to Bruce’s office to obtain the painkiller prescriptions, according to the documents.

He was ordered detained earlier this month on allegations he violated the terms of his release, and is to appear before a federal magistrate judge on Thursday for further sanctions.

Wolfe and five others authorities tied to his organization were charged in a criminal complaint in September, but so far none of the defendants have been publicly indicted in the case.

Bruce’s guilty plea follows the sentencing of one of his employees, Jade Lepoma, who was sentenced to three years probation with one year of home confinement.

Lepoma pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and agreed to cooperate against Bruce.

In her agreement, Lepoma admitted that she helped Wolfe obtain oxycodone prescriptions from Bruce so Wolfe could sell the drugs at a profit on the street.

Lepoma said she and other Bruce staffers shared in roughly $1,200 a week from Wolfe outside their regular salaries for their assistance.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Bruce created “ghost files” of patients, prescribed oxycodone under the phony names and sold the prescriptions to Wolfe.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Jeff German at [email protected] or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.

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Las Vegas doctor pleads guilty in oxycodone trafficking case – Las Vegas Review-Journal

One thought on “Las Vegas doctor pleads guilty in oxycodone trafficking case – Las Vegas Review-Journal”

  1. That terrible Dr Bruce had me on so many kinds of drugs ,I was bed redden for three years. I tried to get off of them ,but he would say try this one,it will help you.All he did was addict me to another drug. He never even tried to help me get off the drugs that he gave me,he made me a drug addict,I never took drugs before.I was very close to being Dead in my bed.I have more to say , but who really cares.I ‘m just glad he is hurting now , because I,m sure a lot of his patients are worse of than him.

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