Southern Ocean County Doctor Charged with Pill Trafficking
The trail of prescription medicine abuse in Ocean County takes investigators to the office of a doctor who's now charged with peddling them illegally.
Dr. Liviu T. Holca, 55, was apprehended and his Manahawkin practice shuttered following a late-morning raid at the office on Beacon Avenue, according to information from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Holca is accused of unlawfully distributing Percocet and Xanax with no medical necessity.
"Pills are the precursor to the heroin problem," Coronato said. "Our strategy of holding street drug dealers accountable includes health care professionals - doctors, pharmacists and others who look to profit from selling powerful illegal prescription pills in our county."
County investigators were assisted by members of New Jersey Consumer Affairs Enforcement Bureau, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Stafford Police in the probe that focused on the period of July and August, 2013.
The Percocet distribution charge ranks as a second-degree count, with a possible prison term of 10 to 20 years on conviction. The Xanax distribution charge is a third-degree, with a possible sentence of five to 10 years if found guilty by a jury.
Holca is also charged with two marijuana possession counts, weapons possession during an offense invovling a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and money laundering.
Authorities armed with a search warrant said they found several loaded firearms, additional drugs and a "significant" amount of cash in Holca's house.
Bail was set at $150,000 cash for weapon, marijuana, and money laundering offenses and $75,000 no 10 percent for the illegal pill sale offenses, for a total of $225,000. Holca will be transported to Ocean County Jail later this evening.