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Published: Friday, 11/16/2007

Former Defiance physician indicted on 21 drug charges

DEFIANCE - A former Defiance physician has been indicted on 21 counts in connection with trafficking in drugs, about three years after he was first indicted on five felony charges related to the narcotic pain reliever OxyContin and Medicaid fraud.

The current indictment charges Alan M. Gardner, 54, who now lives in Battle Creek, Mich., with 15 counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs and seven counts of trafficking in drugs, all felonies. He is to be arraigned Tuesday.

Authorities allege Mr. Gardner prescribed controlled substances to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and for other than legitimate medical purposes, Prosecutor Jeffrey Strausbaugh said in a statement.

Mr. Gardner pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges. In March, 2006, the charges were dropped when he agreed to surrender his medical license.

A Defiance County assistant prosecutor said at the time that the agreement would not affect future charges.

Mr. Gardner was a ProMedica Health System physician and worked at Defiance Regional Medical Center about four years, beginning in July, 2000. He was fired, but the cause was unrelated to the criminal charges, a ProMedica spokesman said in 2004. He later had a private practice in pain management in Defiance.

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