A New York doctor who specialized in treating addiction has been arrested for allegedly receiving cocaine and heroin through the mail, authorities said.
Dr. Torin Finver was arrested Monday at his home in Hamburg, about 15 miles south of Buffalo, and charged with importation of a controlled substance, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection were alerted on Nov. 21 by a K-9 to a padded mailer from Germany that was addressed to Finver, officials said. Investigators said they determined the sender’s information was fictitious, and when they opened the package, they found 3 grams of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.
Then, on Dec. 10, postal inspectors reviewing mail in Rochester spotted a parcel addressed to Finver’s Hamburg home. A K-9 positively identified the package as containing a controlled substance and officials executed a search warrant. They allegedly found three small envelopes containing a brown, rock-like substance that they then field-tested. It came back positive for heroin, the DOJ said.
Two more parcels addressed to Finver were intercepted last Wednesday and Saturday. One allegedly contained cocaine and the other is currently in the custody of law enforcement.
On Monday, investigators conducted a controlled delivery at Finver’s home, replacing the cocaine that was seized from the first parcel with “sham,” or a fake substance.
“An officer knocked on the door and the defendant answered,” the DOJ said. “Finver took the parcel into the residence.”
Officers executed a federal search warrant at Finver’s home, and he was subsequently taken into custody.
"He admitted during his interview that he had been obtaining these drugs online, using the dark net, and that these drugs including cocaine and heroin were for his personal use," U.S. Attorney for Western New York James Kennedy, whose office is prosecuting the case, told reporters.
Finver worked as a consulting physician at Horizon Health and Renaissance Addiction Services, was the medical director at Kids Escaping Drugs and was a faculty member at the University at Buffalo Medical School.
He had reportedly been open about his own struggles with addiction.
“Dr. Finver made no secret of the fact that he was a recovering addict," Anne D. Constantino, president and CEO of Horizon Health Services, told WGRZ-TV. “When you are dealing with people who have suffered that exact same situation you do have a unique understanding.”
Finver had reportedly said he had been in recovery for 10 years. Investigators said that may not have been the case.
"A quantity of fake urine was found in his basement, which he indicated he used to pass drug tests," Kennedy said.
Finver appeared before a federal magistrate and was released on conditions, authorities said. He did not have an attorney at his appearance. He reportedly surrendered his DEA-issued license to prescribe controlled substances. If he is found guilty, Finver could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.