Doctor arrested for distributing drugs illegally

A doctor from Newport Coast was arrested by federal drug enforcement agents Wednesday following a three-year investigation into what authorities allege were illegal drug prescriptions from his office getting into the hands of known drug dealers.

Nazar Al Bussam, 71, was arrested outside his Downey office along with two of his employees, Rosemary Mendoza, 75, of West Covina, and James Park, 72, of Corona.

Federal prosecutors accuse Bussam of writing nearly 60,000 prescriptions — mostly for Vicodin and Xanax — in exchange for cash in a two-year period.

He's been operating since at least 2007, officials said.

Investigators learned that Al Bussam was one of Los Angeles County's leading prescribers of controlled substances, with convicted drug dealers in California and Texas among his clientele, prosecutors said.

He earned more than $1 million a year, with authorities claiming much of that came through the illegal prescriptions.

He's scheduled to appear in federal court today on a federal conspiracy to distribute controlled substances charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

Joseph Serna

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