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Del Mar woman arrested in DEA opioid crackdown

9 medical professionals rounded up by feds
Posted at 11:27 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-23 09:35:23-05

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) - Nine doctors and medical professionals are facing federal drug charges in connection to DEA illegal opioid prescription investigation.

Agents raided medical officers across Southern California for "Operation Hypocritical Oath," which targeted doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinic operators in California and Nevada.

"A stern message to corrupt doctors who seek to profit from spreading addiction," said U.S Attorney Nick Hanna.

Among those arrested, Monica Ann Berlin of Del Mar.

The Department of Justice says the 41-year-old stole a doctor’s signature stamp and prescription pads to write fraudulent prescriptions.

Berlin forged at least 44 prescriptions for controlled substances from April 2015 to 2017, according to the DOJ.

According to the criminal filed against her, Berlin sent text messages to her buyer using coded language by describing the drugs as “candies" and “Tic Tacs.”

Investigators say the bogus scrips were filed at pharmacies in Rancho Santa Fe and Beverly Hills.

The DOJ says 15 people died because of drugs related to some of the practitioners in this investigation and this epidemic remains their top issue.

Berlin was released on a $1 million bond and is due back in federal court next month.