TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — When detectives with the Tarpon Springs Police Department began their investigation into the director of a pain management clinic accused of extortion, they knew there was one victim and believed there may be more.
According to police, they discovered an additional victim the day after his initial arrest.
Christopher Ferguson is the director of operations at the Phoenix Medical Management Care Center in Tarpon Springs. According to police, he told two patients that their drug tests had come back positive.
“He threatened to report them to law enforcement and child protective services if they did test positive,” Major Frank Ruggiero explained. “And he offered to change those positive test results to negative results if they performed sexual acts on him.”
Tarpon Springs officers arrested Ferguson and charged him with extortion. They transported him to the Pinellas County Jail where, according to court documents, his wife posted bond for him the next morning.
8 On Your Side did some digging and found that this is not Ferguson’s first brush with the law.
In 2007, Tampa police officers arrested Ferguson 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 website, served three years in Florida State Prison.
Three years after his release, his wife opened up the Phoenix Medical Management Care Center in Tarpon Springs. A year later, documents indicate Christopher Ferguson became the non-profit’s director of operations.
8 On Your Side reached out to the Florida Department of Health, which regulates such clinics, to find out if it was aware that a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges is working for Phoenix. We are waiting on a reply.
No one at the clinic was available for comment. Our repeated knocks on the door at Ferguson’s homes were not answered.