HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Court records say the names and information of local doctors was allegedly being used to obtain drugs, sell them and make money.
Earlier this week, an indictment came down accusing nine people from Hampton Roads of being involved in an elaborate organized drug scheme.
It states a local medical group contacted authorities when they noticed doctors’ names were on prescriptions they didn’t write.
The complaint was made last March, according to court records.
Law enforcement searched a home in Norfolk this past fall after months of investigating.
They took computers, printers, prescription pills, cell phones, prescription paper, documents and other items from the home.
Records indicate they think the group was creating fake prescriptions off a website and researching local doctor’s information, then creating fake prescriptions used to obtain prescription pills.
Court documents state investigators accuse the group of getting 4,000 oxycodone pills over a seven-month period.
The indictment lists trip after trip to various pharmacies throughout Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.
Court documents state federal agents were listening to jailhouse conversations and searched through text messages between the suspects.
“Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic across the country. That is why the government has taken some major steps in a lot of states, and that's why we see the laws being changed in the state of Virginia,” said Dr. Ryan Light, Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group.
Light said stricter state laws that went into effect last spring are making it tougher for criminals.
“They [lawmakers] looked at all the opioid abuse around the country and they implemented some new laws. They made it really strict for physicians to prescribe them [prescription pills], but they've also put in place some really strict tracking programs so it's being tracked much more regularly,” said Dr. Light.
The doctors writing the prescriptions and patients taking the pills are being tracked more effectively.
“It's very, very serious, particularly when you're dealing with opioids and other prescription drugs. It's very serious. I think the government is going to come down very heavy on them in the courts," said Tidewater Community College Department of Criminal Justice Head Richard James.
The suspects have court next week in Norfolk.