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Self-described ‘El Chapo of Opioids’ pleads guilty to fraud

November 27, 2019

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey doctor who authorities say referred to himself as the “El Chapo of Opioids” has pleaded guilty to a health care claims fraud charge.

Robert Delagente (Dela-GENT-ay) now faces five years in federal prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 10.

Federal prosecutors have said the 45-year-old Oakland man, whose practice was based in that town, prescribed opioids for patients without seeing them and often allowed them to choose their own dosage. He was also was accused of altering medical records to hide his activities and submitting insurance claims for services he never provided.

His lawyer previously did not return calls when Delagente was charged.

Authorities say Delagente didn’t monitor whether his patients were becoming addicted to the painkillers.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is a convicted Mexican drug lord who led a massive drug conspiracy that spread murder and mayhem for more than two decades.