Pubdate: Wed, 12 May 2004
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Sam Pazzano


Jury Told Details Of Scheme

A MID-TOWN Toronto doctor trafficked hundreds of painkillers a day in a 
scheme involving a cash-strapped "courier" and a paralegal middle-man, a 
jury heard yesterday. "Normally, when you think of trafficking cases, you 
think of briefcases full of money and bags full of white powder, and men 
wearing expensive suits," federal prosecutor Moiz Rahman said as he 
outlined allegations against Dr. Ravi Devgan.

"But the tools of the trade here are a white lab coat, pen and pre-printed 
pieces of white paper (prescription orders)."

The prosecutor alleges Devgan, 56, wrote "dozens of prescriptions" for 
excessive quantities of narcotic pills. Orders were placed and picked up by 
Christopher Bird, 34, an out-of-work handyman. Devgan's associate, Toronto 
paralegal Sandy Hutchens, recruited Bird as a courier and paid him $10 per 
order, plus gas and drug costs, Rahman said.

Bird pleaded guilty earlier and was sentenced to nine months house arrest, 
plus probation.

He testified Hutchens gave him prescriptions for people and had him use 
several drug stores, to avoid detection by suspicious pharmacists. Bird 
said he saw Hutchens stuff money into an envelope that he delivered to 
Devgan's office.

Devgan has pleaded not guilty to trafficking and possession for the 
purposes of trafficking oxycodone -- sold under the trade names Percocet 
and Percodan -- between Aug. 8, 2001, and Sept. 25, 2001.
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