Penn Township doctor gets 4 years in prison for illegal opioid distribution
A Westmoreland County physician who was convicted in January by a federal jury of illegally distributing opioids at his practices in West Virginia was sentenced this week to four years in prison.
Dr. Felix Brizuela, Jr., 58, of Penn Township, was found guilty of 15 counts of distribution of controlled substances after a six-day trial in January in U.S. District Court’s Northern District of West Virginia. The jury acquitted Brizuela of anti-kickback charges and six other distribution counts.
The controlled substances illegally distributed by Brizuela included oxycodone, fentanyl and oxymorphone, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said. The jury found the drugs were distributed without legitimate medical purpose and outside the scope of professional practice in Monongalia County between 2013-15.
Brizuela lives in Harrison City but practiced medicine out of offices in Connellsville, Fayette County, and Morgantown, W.Va., and operated a drug treatment center in Weirton, W.Va. The latter, known as Advance Healthcare Inc., was closed after federal authorities began an investigation into prescription practices involving Brizuela and his partner, Dr. George Naum III.
In April, a federal jury found Naum guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and four counts of aiding and abetting the distribution of controlled substances . Naum is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .