PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A high-profile attorney representing the Tarpon Springs pain clinic manager who, police arrested for extortion, confirmed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is investigating the case.
John Trevena, who now represents Christopher Ferguson, declined to speak with 8 On Your Side when asked for further comments on the case. Trevena said any comment would be premature.
Ferguson was listed as the director of operations at the Phoenix Medical Management Care Center on South Pinellas Avenue in Tarpon Springs before his arrest, but in the latest paperwork filed Tuesday by clinic management, Ferguson was not listed as an employee.
When Tarpon Springs Police detectives began their investigation into Christopher Ferguson, they knew there was one victim but believed there may be others. A day after his initial arrest, authorities discovered an additional victim.
Ferguson was arrested after police said he told two patients their drug tests had come back positive.
Major Frank Ruggiero explains, “He threatened to report them to law enforcement and child protective services if they did test positive,” Major Ruiggiero said. “And he offered to change those positive test results to negative results if they performed sexual acts on him.”
Tarpon Springs Police officers arrested Ferguson and charged him with extortion. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail where, according to court documents, his wife Patricia posted bond for him the next morning.
8 on Your Side discovered the incident was not Ferguson’s first brush with the law. In 2007, Tampa Police officers arrested him on drug trafficking charges. According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office booking record, he worked as an office manager for a local doctor’s office. Documents from the Florida Department of Health indicate he sold dozens of pain pills to an undercover police officer. He pleaded guilty to the charges and, according to the Department of Corrections web site, served three years in Florida State Prison.
Three years after his release, Patricia Ferguson opened up the Phoenix Medical Management Care Center in Tarpon Springs. A year later, documents indicated Christopher Ferguson became the non-profit’s director of operations.
Doctors Vivian Herrero and Mark Fenzl are listed as the clinic’s physicians. 8 on Your Side has left messages for both for comment but has not received a response.