Los Gatos doctor accused of running drug exchange

October 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A South Bay doctor is in serious trouble with the law. Dr. Marvin Bonham is accused of supplying drugs to minors and trading prescription drugs for cash. And that may not be all.

Valley Health Plan is run for current and retired employees of Santa Clara County. Its former administrator, who left the job last week, is accused of running a drug exchange. A multi-agency task force says the former pediatrician was writing prescriptions for people with drug records.

For the past four years, 61-year-old Marvin Bonham was the medical director of the Santa Clara County Valley Health Plan. He didn't have patients as an administrator, but investigators say he was writing a lot of prescriptions.

"He had prescribed 29 different individuals over 111 prescriptions of typically abused substances, primarily OxyContin, Oxycodone, which are just two variants of the most powerful pain reliever available," said supervising Deputy District Attorney James Sibley.

Investigators say Bonham also had written over 1,000 pills of OxyContin for his roommate, 32-year-old James Schneider, who was also arrested. A computerized tracking system determined that over half of the prescriptions were given to people with drug arrest records.

"Seeing that many of those individuals had criminal histories, including histories of drug arrests and arrests for drug sales, that set off all the flags," Sibley said.

Bonham live in a hillside estate in Los Gatos. After his arrest he was released on $1 million bail. ABC7 News attempted to make contact with the former medical director, but he would not open the door at his house.

SKY7 HD could be heard overhead as Sibley described what they found at the house after serving a search warrant, "The home, according to the agents, was essentially littered with burnt foils that are used to smoke OxyContin, and the straws. There was a marijuana grow under the house, hanging, drying marijuana plants in the garage."

This started as a narcotics investigation, but the case may be expanded to include allegations of underage sex, "There's follow-up investigation into the allegations that might relate to child pornography or the involvement of underage minors in inappropriate activity."

Dr. Bonham will be arraigned Thursday in San Jose Superior Court. He could face 25 years in prison if convicted.


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