PHOENIX — Authorities say a Tucson podiatrist has pleaded guilty to forging prescriptions for narcotic drugs for his own use.

Officials with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office say a veterinary supply company contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix Division last June after Dr. Loren Scott Wessel made a purchase of more than 5,000 oxycodone tablets.

Investigators learned Wessel was filling forged prescriptions for narcotics at a Tucson pharmacy by using the name of a local doctor.

A state grand jury indicted Wessel last September on charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, acquisition of a narcotic drug by fraud and forgery.

Wessel is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14.

Prosecutors say he faces up to a 45-month prison term and must voluntarily surrender his license to prescribe narcotics.

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