TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – Are the doctors at a Tarpon Springs pain clinic under the microscope in a federal investigation? Well-known attorney John Trevena thinks so.
Last week, 8 On Your Side learned that agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration were in Tarpon Springs at the Phoenix Medical Management Care Center on South Pinellas Avenue.
Trevena represents Christopher Ferguson, the former director of the clinic, who police arrested on an extortion charge. In that case, investigators believe he offered at least one patient a clean drug screen in exchange for sexual favors.
Police said there is a second victim, but Ferguson hasn’t been arrested or charged in that case. Investigators believe there are additional victims out there.
But Trevena believes his client was not the focus of the federal investigation.
“Mr. Ferguson can’t write a script. So why is he the focus? The focus should be whoever wrote the scripts,” said Trevena. “I think from a federal standpoint, the doctors are the only ones that can be in trouble.”
8 On Your Side reached out to both doctors at the clinic. Dr. Vivian Herrero hasn’t returned our messages. Dr. Mark Fenzl responded on Friday and told us he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the Phoenix investigation, but is concerned that if the feds shut down that clinic and clinics like it, people who legitimately need pain medication won’t have anywhere to go.
8 On Your Side also reached out to the DEA. A public information officer in the Miami field office said she could not comment on the investigation.
Trevena doesn’t know if federal agents will dig up anything. “I think it’s a fishing expedition,” said Trevena. “To see if the doctors should have prescribed those medications.”