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Indy pain clinic doctor faces felony charges

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis doctor whose pain management clinics were raided last month now faces charges of exchanging pills for sex.

Call 6 Investigates learned Dr. Tristan Stonger was arrested without incident Monday.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office announced the following charges against Stonger:

  • Two counts of dealing in a narcotic drug (hydrocodone), a Level 2 Felony
  • One count of dealing in a narcotic drug (morphine), a Level 5 Felony
  • Two counts of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance (amphetamine), a Level 6 Felony
  • One count of dispensing a legend drug illegally (pregabalin), a Level 6 Felony

A probable cause affidavit filed Monday lays out allegations that Stonger would overprescribe opiates to patients in order to cause them to develop dependency to the medication. Investigators allege Stonger would then demand sex in exchange for continued prescriptions.

Investigators said a friend of one of those patients told police Stonger "pumped her with pills."

A former employee told DEA agents that Stonger would regularly see 80-150 patients per day, and only spend 2-5 minutes with them at a time. Some of those patients would be taken to a room alone with Stonger, where he would lock the door behind him, according to the probable cause.

When the DEA began investigating his practice, Stonger reportedly told a patient cooperating with police to lie.

"If you don't lie to them, I'll lose everything," Stonger allegedly told the patient. "I will lose my license because of this. You're my patient. I'm your doctor. They will take my license away from me because of this."

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry praised DEA investigators Tuesday for their work in the case.

"We appreciate the work of the DEA Taskforce and the Attorney General’s Office in investigating allegations of illegal pain medication distribution, and we intend to hold accountable those medical professionals who would provide these medications outside the letter of the law," Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. "We believe others may have information about illegal painkiller prescriptions at these and other clinics in Central Indiana.” 

Three pain management clinics run by Stonger in Peru, Bloomington and the south side of Indianapolis were raised by the DEA in February. Officials at the time said the raids surrounded allegations of misprescribing and overdoses.

CALL 6 | DEA raids Indianapolis pain management center

Sources tell Call 6 Investigates the state medical licensing board will seek action against Stonger following his arrest Monday.


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