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UNITED STATES v. CARRANZA

March 13, 1986

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, against WILLIAM H. CARRANZA, M.D., Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KRAM

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRLEY WOHL KRAM, U.S.D.J.

Currently before the Court is the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment in the instant case pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The indictment was filed on April 17, 1985, and it charged Dr. Carranza, in twenty-one separate counts, with violating 21 U.S.C. § 843(a). These violations are alleged to have occurred between October 22, 1984 and February 4, 1985. For the reasons which follow the motion is denied.

 The pertinent facts are summarized below. Dr. Carranza has been a practicing physician for a number of years. In his practice he has, of course, written many prescriptions for narcotics. A physician may not lawfully issue prescriptions, however, unless he has a valid, current Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") registration number. Thus, all physicians who wish to write prescriptions must register with the DEA, obtain a registration number, and maintain a current registration number.

 Dr. Carranza's DEA registration number expired on August 31, 1982. He voluntarily permitted his registration number to expire at that time. In March, 1983 Dr. Carranza applied to the DEA for a new registration number. Although he attempts to characterize this as an application to extend his expired registration, the March, 1983 application was in fact an application for a new registration number. It appears that Dr. Carranza wrote no prescriptions between August, 1982 and March, 1983. On January 24, 1985 the DEA held a hearing on Dr. Carranza's application for a new registration number. Dr. Carranza testified at that hearing. This application was denied on January 14, 1986. Meanwhile, Carranza had been arrested in connection with the instant allegations on April 9, 1985.

 The statute Carranza is charged with violating reads as follows:

 
Prohibited acts C
 
(a) Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally
 
(2) to use in the course of the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance, or to use for the purpose of acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance, a registration number which is fictitious, revoked, suspended, expired, or issued to another person.

 21 U.S.C. § 843(a)(2) (as amended October 12, 1984, P.L. 98-473, Title II, Ch. V, Part B, § 516, 98 Stat. 2074) (emphasis added).

 Prior to the amendment of this statute, which became effective on October 12, 1984, it read as follows:

 
Prohibited acts C
 
Unlawful acts
 
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or ...

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