Marion County Prosecutor’s served an additional felony charge today on Doctor Tristan Stonger and the Indiana Attorney General filed to have his medical license immediately suspended by the Medical Licensing Board reporting he is “an immediate danger to the public health and safety”.
Doctor Tristan V. Stonger, 68, 8272 Strawtown Pike, Bunker Hill, was arrested yesterday by the Indiana Drug Enforcement Administration Charged with six felonies relating to his prescribing various narcotics, pain killers and other medications without medical reason.
Today, Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Lindsey Holden added an additional felony count to those charges reporting that on or about April 11, 2016 at the time of his arrest, Tristan Stonger did, without a valid prescription, possess Tramadol, a controlled Schedule IV substance.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office released the probable cause affidavit today which was submitted to the courts by Tonda Cockrell, a Task Force Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Indianapolis District Office.
In her 16-page affidavit, Officer Cockrell outlined details of a complaint made by a former employee of Doctor Stonger who reported he had “special patients” who received preferential treatment, performed sexual favors, and concerns that they were not being medical treated for their conditions.
All of the documentation can be viewed at the bottom of this article in their original form. Peru Miami News cautions readers that there are numerous explicit statements and reports of sexual conduct that may be offensive to some readers and are not appropriate for readers of all ages.
Search Warrants Served
“On February 26, 2016,” the affidavit reads, “investigators from the DEA, Indiana Attorney General’s Office, Indiana State Police, and local law enforcement agencies executed search warrants affiliated with Tristan Voth-Stonger, M.D., due in part to allegations of Stonger prescribing controlled substances to alleged addicted patients, prescribing controlled substances outside the standard course of medical practice, and not for legitimate medical purposes. “
Pain Management Center in Miami County and affiliated locations of Dr. Tristan Stonger
*82 East Third Street, Peru (medical practice)
*1 South Broadway, Peru (medical practice)
*5 South Broadway, Peru (medical practice)
*8272 Strawtown Pike, Bunker Hill (Stonger residence)
*Red 2013 Chevrolet Malibu- registered to Tristan and Belinda Stonger of Butte, Montana (personal vehicle)
*Green 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche- registered to Tristan Stonger of Butte, Montana (personal vehicle)
“During the execution of the search warrant at Stonger’s residence,” Officer Cockrell reported, “members of the investigative team located controlled prescription bottles with the name of patients affixed on the labels, controlled substance prescription bottles with the name torn off of the labels, pre-signed controlled substance prescriptions with the signature of Tristan Stonger, M.D., yellow carbon copies of prescriptions with the names of numerous individuals, and over $40,000 US currency located inside the residence and vehicles of Tristan Stonger, M.D.
Pain Management Centers of Indiana in Marion County
*Southport Drive, Suite B-1, Indianapolis (medical practice)
Nothing reported found at this location.
Pain Management Centers of Indiana In Monroe County and locations affiliated with Tristan Voth-Stonger, M.D.
*2920 South McIntyre Drive, Suite 150 and 150A, Bloomington (medical practice)
*8101 South Zikes Road, Bloomington (Stonger residence)
“During the execution of the search warrant at Stonger’s residence (Bloomington),” Officer Cockrell’s affidavit reads, “members of the investigative team located controlled substance prescription bottles with the name of patients affixed to the labels, controlled substance prescription bottles with the label torn off of the bottles, pre-signed controlled substance prescriptions with the signatures of Tristan Stonger, M.D., and Paolo Giacomini, M.D., and over $100,000 US currency inside a safe at the Stonger residence. Investigators also located packaging and materials utilized in the dispensing of compounded controlled substances (Morphine, Hydromorphone, Schedule II; pain) inside the residence.”
(The identity of Patient #1 has been redacted by prosecutor’s to protect her.)
According to the affidavit from Officer Cockrell, Patient #1 began seeing Dr. Stonger as a patient in 2013. Officer Cockrell reported she ran an inquiry into Patient #1 with the Indiana Prescription Monitoring report (INSPECT) from 2013-2016. “An INSPECT report summarizes the controlled substances a patient has been prescribed, the practitioner who prescribed them, and the dispensing pharmacy,” Officer Cockrell reported. “Each time a controlled substance is dispensed, the dispenser is required to submit a biographical data about the patient, the controlled substance, the quantity prescribed, and the number of days for which the drug is to be taken.”
According to the INSPECT report Patient #1 was prescribed the following:
5/28/2013- 90 tablets of Hydrocodone 7.5 mg. by Dr. Stonger.
10/16/2013-120 Hydrocodone 5/325 mg; 90 tablets Lyrica 75mg.-Dr. Stonger.
4/9/2014- two prescriptions under Roberta Kilburn, N.P.
7/30/2014- five prescriptions under Paolo C. Giacomini.
Between 10/14/2014- 3/10/2016- 46 controlled substance prescriptions from Dr. Stonger, which included: Dextoamphetamine Saccharate (Schedule II, ADHD); Oxycodone and Acetaminophen 10/325mg (Schedule II, pain); Oxycodone Hydrochloride 10mg (Schedule II, pain); Lyrica 75 mg. (pain); Hydrocodone Bitrartrate 7.5/325mg. (Schedule II, pain); Morphine Sulfate ER 15 mg. (Schedule II, pain); and Clonazepam .5 mg. (Schedule IV, anxiety).
According to Officer Cockrell, she reported an interview of Patient #1 was conducted on March 17, 2016 and in that interview Patient #1 reported she began to see Dr. Stonger for pain management in May 2013. Patient #1 reported several months after she became a patient, Dr. Stonger asked to meet her outside the medical office and asked her to work for him as a medical assistant. In September 2014, Patient #1 went to Dr. Stonger’s Bloomington residence and began a sexual relationship with him them. She reported to investigators that she “felt pressure to engage in the sexual relationship in order to get pain pills from Stonger.”
Patient #1 told investigators that Stonger called her cell phone, and the landline at her place of employment and also pursued her at her place of employment. She reported he ordered her to stop going to her primary care doctor. She reported he never ordered an MRI or any other testing for her back pain.
Officer Cockrell went on to report that Patient #1 told police she had sexual intercourse multiple times with Dr. Stonger at his residence in Bloomington from September 2014 to January 2016. The sexual relationship continued with Stonger until the time the search warrants were served on February 26, 2016 at his medical practices. Patient #1 told police Stonger asked Patient #1 to lie for him saying, “If you don’t lie to them, I’ll lose everything. I will lose my license because of this. You’re my patient, I’m your doctor. They will take my license away from me because of this.”
During the affidavit, Officer Cockrell reported she was contacted by Patient #1, who had called Dr. Stonger on her own and made a recording of her subsequent office visit with him in which she traded sexual favors for prescriptions on March 28, 2016.
In her report, Officer Cockrell reported Patient #1 called Dr. Stonger on his cell phone and asked to see him in his office. He reported he was traveling to the Greenwood office and would see her before he saw any of the other 40 patients who were scheduled to see him that day.
When she arrived, in spite of the fact that three other patients had been waiting one and one half hours to see the doctor, Patient #1 was escorted by a medical assistant to a patient room within five minutes of arriving. She was taken back and forth between two patient rooms during her time with Dr. Stonger to allow for her to perform oral sex on him in a room that was locked. The transcript of the recording by Officer Cockrell quotes Stonger as saying, “Let me take you in the back and put you on the pain machine, That will be good for you to have your clothes off. I’ll be your treating doctor. You can do a little sucking while you are there. Just would be safer for me.” Stonger also referred to the other patients waiting to see him as “tools” “who gotta get their pills, you know?” Stonger makes references to the DEA search of his home and told Patient #1 that they found her “yellow copy” in his house, and “a bunch of signed, uh, signed blues.”
Patient #1 left that day with controlled substance prescriptions from Stonger for Norco 10/325mg (Schedule II, pain); Lyrica 75 mg (Schedule IV pain); and Adderall 20 mg (Schedule II, ADHD). Patient #1 was never required to make any payment at the office that day and was never weighed or had blood pressure or temperatures taken as one would expect when attending a physician’s appointment. The Walgreen Pharmacist, who Patient #1 presented the prescriptions to, refused to fill the prescriptions that day reporting it was too soon for Patient #1 to have the prescriptions filled.
Officer Cockrell then reported that on March 31, 2016, just three days after Patient #1 had met with Dr. Stonger in his Greenwood office, she then was found sitting in the waiting room to see Dr. Stronger at his Bloomington office by Officer Cockrell. Officer Cockrell reported she showed up at the doctor’s office to retrieve Patient #1’s medical file. Dr. Stonger told Officer Cockrell that Patient #1 had a scheduled appointment and that he was “getting ready to see her now”. They then traveled to the Greenwood office to get Patient #1’s records from that facility. While there, there was a report from Lindeman & Associates in her file. In that report, Patient #1 had been referred to and evaluated by Lindeman & Associates Psychological Services for possible ADHD. The report, dated 12/29/2015, stated that Patient #1 did not meet the criteria to diagnose ADHD.
Patient #1 reported when Dr. Stonger called her into his treatment room, he spoke to her privately and said, “They want your patient file. Don’t say a ” Stonger was then reported to have called a medical assistant into the exam room where he reportedly told the medical assistant to dictate everything he stated. According to Patient #1, Stonger dictated numerous “lies” to the medical assistant.
Former Employee #1/Medical Assistant Report
In her affidavit to the court, Officer Cockrell also reported interviewing a Former Employee #1 (whose identity is also being redacted by the prosecutor’s office to protect her).
In her report, Cockrell reported the Former Employee #1 approached the Attorney General’s Office on February 25, 2016, prior to the search warrants being served on Stonger’s properties and businesses. According to Cockrell, the Former Employee#1/ Medical Assistant, worked for Dr. Stonger at both the Bloomington and Greenwood offices. She told police that Dr. Stonger saw 80 to 150 patients per day and spent 2-5 minutes with each patient. She also reported that Dr. Stonger had “special patients”. She reported that these patients would be escorted into an exam room by the medical assistant, and then the medical assistant would be dismissed from the room and the door would be locked by Dr. Stonger. She also reported that the medical treatments and prescriptions would be different from the regular patients. At one point, Former Employee #1/ Medical Assistant, describes an incident to police in which she had to knock on a locked exam room door because of an issue with another patient. She reported the female patient in the room opened the door and then stood behind the door adjusting her bra and clothing while the Former Employee #1 observed white bodily fluid on Dr. Stonger’s pants near his crotch and his zipper that appeared to be semen.
The Former Employee #1/ Medical Assistant told police that on at least ten occasions Patient #1 had been escorted into exam rooms, and then met with the doctor for an extended period of time behind a locked door. She reported Patient #1 had drug seeking and addictive behaviors and sought early refills, reported lost prescriptions, and requested controlled substances on a weekly basis from Dr. Stonger.
In her affidavit to the courts, Officer Cockrell reported receiving a subpoena for Dr. Stonger’s phone records. She reported from September 18, 2014 through February 16, 2016 there were 132 contacts between Stonger’s cell phone number and Patient #1’s number. Additionally, from September 24, 2014 through March 8, 2016, there were 72 contacts between Stonger’s cell phone and the landline at the place of employment for Patient #1. Officer Cockrell also reported Patient #1 had contacted Stonger’s voicemail on March 28, 2016 and that Stonger’s cell phone attempted to contact Patient #1’s cell phone later that day, but no connection was made.
Patient #1’s Medical File Examined
On April 8, 2016, according to Officer Cockrell, Timothy King, M.D., who is Board certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Management, and Addiction Medicine reviewed the files of Patient #1 seized from Dr. Stonger for police. In the report of his findings, Officer Cockrell reported Dr. King said the following: “Patient #1’s chart indicated a failure by Dr. Stonger to establish a legitimate and objective diagnosis. He reported “failure to perform targeted physical exam”, “failure to obtain imaging”, failure to treat musculoskeletal pain with appropriate physical medicine treatment options”, “failure to incorporate risk factors such as mental health and abuse”, “ failure to perform urine drug screens, and two previous abnormal urine drug screens”, “opiate initiation, escalation, and poly-pharmacy without legitimate medical justification”, “practice outside the usual course of medical practice (early refills, poly-pharmacy, irregular/frequent visits, scant exams, script/new meds without corresponding office visits”, “controlled substance prescriptions issued without corresponding office visits on several occasions”.