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Modesto Doctor Arrested in Illegal Opioid Bust

SACRAMENTO -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District McGregor Scott announced an arrest of a Modesto doctor for illegally prescribing opioid painkillers.

Dr. Sawtantra Kumar Chopra was arrested at his home after a federal grand jury indicted him on 23 counts of selling prescriptions for cash to four undercover agents on multiple occasions without proper exams or questions.

A map showing the addresses of his patients showed that they traveled from all over the Sacramento region and the San Francisco Bay Area to Modesto to get the prescriptions. Investigators are looking into other transactions beyond those revealed by the undercover operation.

The arrest comes after the misuse of opioids was declared a national health emergency.

The prescriptions were brought to the attention of the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse by pharmacies, including several in Sacramento that suspected irregularities.

Becerra said measures will be taken to make sure that Chopra patients who legitimately need opioid prescriptions get them.

Chopra could serve 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the charges.