Local dentist faces charges for drug activity in exchange for dental work, pill kickbacks

Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 12:51:05-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – After having to close up shop after the VA Board of Dentistry suspended his license to legally do dental work, Dr. Gary Hartman has been federally charged with felony conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

According to officials, these substances include Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Alprazolam, Carisoprodol and Zolpidem. They believe he used his professional services to access these pills for recreational use outside the scope of his professional practice.

Hartman is expected to plead guilty to the charge against him, according to court documents.

According to the summary of suspension, made public on the board of dentistry website, Dr. Gary Hartman is accused of having prescribed more than 46,000 Hydrocodone pills, more than 20,000 Soma pills and nearly 8,000 Oxycodone pills, as well as Vicodin, Tramadol, sleeping pills and anxiety medications, to patients who either had not been seen or did not need the excessive amount they were prescribed.

Court documents examined by News 3 also show that the charge against Hartman follows the same evidence laid out that led to his suspension.

The prescriptions themselves were not the alarming part for the DEA, the agency investigating claims of misuse: it was the number of pills written to people who agents report did not have appointments or ailments to fit the medication prescribed.

In portions of the report, the DEA found Hartman exchanged dental work for patients willing to be drug mules. Patients told the DEA in interviews that Hartman would fix their teeth or treat them without insurance, but in exchange they would have to fill a prescription he wrote and hand off the pills.

Hartman was eventually drug-tested by the DEA and tested positive for marijuana, opioids and amphetamines.

The Virginia Board of Dentistry reports they suspended Hartman’s license to do dental work in December 2018, but documents state investigators believe Hartman was abusing the system well before that.