Doctor indicted on drug offenses

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COSHOCTON -- A Coshocton County Common Pleas Court grand jury has indicted Dr. David A. Velasquez, 46, on 97 drug-related felony offenses for allegedly selling weight loss drugs outside his regular medical practice, New Century Physicians Intermedic Inc.

The charges include one count of engaging in corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; 95 counts of trafficking in drugs, fourth-degree felonies; and one count of permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony.

The indictments were returned by the grand jury on Dec. 14.

If convicted of all offenses, Velasquez faces more than 153 years in prison.

The investigation into Velasquez's alleged illegal prescription activity was initiated in January 2011 by the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

Some patients reportedly paid more than $300 per visit to obtain weight loss drugs from Velasquez.

The Ohio Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Unit will serve as an assistant prosecutor to Coshocton County Prosecutor Jason Given.

A native of El Salvador, Velasquez has reportedly been practicing in Coshocton since 2005.

Bond for the doctor has been set at $50,000 with special conditions including surrendering his passport and refrain from prescribing medication. He has also been ordered not to leave Ohio.

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