Indictment alleges doctor illegally distributed from his practice
AUG 19 (LONGMONT, Colo.) – The Longmont Police Department and DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad arrested Dr. Larry Eckstein on August 18, 2015 for unlawful sales and distribution of Oxycodone, a schedule II controlled substance, from his medical practice. The arrest was based on a Grand Jury Indictment from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation, which lead to the indictment, began in 2014 and was assisted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Longmont Police Department began this investigation in July, 2014, and focused on the illegal distribution of Oxycodone from Dr. Eckstein’s practice. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Dr. Eckstein never performed risk assessments for prolonged opiate usage, and that his prescriptions involved massive increases over time with no diagnosis, no supported assessment, and no treatment plans.
“Prescription drug abuse is an extremely serious problem, not just in Colorado but nationwide” stated Barbra Roach, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver Field Division. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people die in the United States from drug overdoses than in vehicle accidents. In 2013 over 22,000 deaths were related to prescription drug overdose, and of that over 71% were due to opioid painkillers.” SAC Roach continued “This joint investigation has resulted in what we believe to be the first prosecution by the state of Colorado for prescription drug distribution by a doctor in his workplace and outside the scope of his practice.”
Boulder County District Attorney Stanley L. Garnett stated, "Prescription drug abuse continues to be a significant public safety concern in Boulder County and also is a factor in the increasing use of heroin in our communities. This is why my office works so closely with the Boulder County Drug Task Force, federal agencies like the DEA and local police departments to investigate these cases and to file charges when the evidence supports a charge. The allegations against Dr. Eckstein are based on a complex investigation involving grand jury testimony over several months. We thank the DEA for working collaboratively with my office and the Longmont Police Department to bring this investigation to the point where charges can be filed and look forward to working with them in the future."
Bond was set for Dr. Eckstein at $25,000, with pretrial supervision. A date for trial has not been set at this time. Dr. Eckstein is charged with a class 2 drug felony and could face between four to eight years in prison and fines between $3,000 and $750,000.