DEA arrests Blacksburg doctor, claims he committed fraud to obtain drugs

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A Blacksburg doctor is facing federal charges after investigators say he committed fraud to obtain drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Dr. Frank Purpera of the Virginia Vein Institute on Thursday. He was released from federal custody Friday morning.

He's facing 70 charges including failing to maintain proper records, committing fraud to obtain drugs, and making false statements to federal investigators.

Last year the DEA raided his office, claiming he was the largest buyer of pain killers in southwest Virginia.

In an interview with agents during a search of his practice in 2016, Dr. Frank Purpera said, "If they want a Valium, they get a Valium. If they want a Percocet, they can have it on the way out."

Search warrants released in September 2016 explain federal agents suspected he bought thousands of painkillers for patients and family.

His lawyers tells WDBJ7, the allegations are false.

"Dr. Purpera has never committed fraud, and he never lied to a federal agent," his attorneys John Brownlee and William Gould said in a statement.

"Moreover, none of the allegations has anything to do with his treatment of his patients, which is exemplary. Dr. Purpera is a dedicated vein specialist in the New River Valley where he and his wife have lived since 2012. We will aggressively defend Dr. Purpera against these allegations and look forward to a quick resolution to this unfair campaign against one of our local doctors.”