A Western New York doctor and recovering drug addict was arrested last month and charged for importing heroin and cocaine procured over the dark web.
The 54-year-old doctor, Torin Finver, who has long struggled with drugs, was arrested at his home in the town of Hamburg, New York.
He was charged with importing two controlled substances—cocaine and heroin—bought over the dark web. If convicted, he faces 20 years behind bars and a $1 million fine.
Drug Supply Addressed to Doctor’s House
Amid the most serious drug crisis that the United States has ever seen throughout its history, a well-respected medical doctor specialized in substance abuse treatment was arrested at his Hamburg, New York home on federal drug crime charges on December 17.
Finver, who also serves as a member of the University of Buffalo Medical School faculty, was taken into police custody for illegally importing heroin and cocaine.
These controlled substances are two of the most addictive and harmful drugs in the market.
According to U.S. Attorney John P. Kennedy’s office, an investigation conducted by several law enforcement agencies intercepted four packages addressed to Dr. Finver at his residence on Columbia Avenue in Hamburg, a quaint town located just 20 minutes south of Buffalo.
Three of these packages contained cocaine, while the fourth contained heroin, a cheap opioid that has fueled the opioid epidemic and continues to claim the lives of people from all walks of life.
According to statistics, heroin overdose-related deaths increased five times from 2010 to 2016.
The Investigation Process
According to prosecutors, the investigation began on November 21 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a parcel addressed to Finver’s home.
The sender’s address proved to be fake (a pet shop in California) and they later discovered it was in fact sent from Germany.
The parcel contained 3 grams of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.
On December 10, investigators intercepted an excessively taped parcel also addressed to Finver’s home.
The sender information suggested it was sent from California, with a pre-paid shipping label from EasyPost.
A search warrant was served on Finver following a drug sniffer dog’s indication. Indeed, they discovered that three envelopes contained a brown substance that tested positive for heroin.
On December 12 and 15, respectively, two other packages addressed to his residence were intercepted, and the substance contained by one of them tested positive for cocaine.
The second package remained in police custody.
Bitcoin Paid for Heroin & Cocaine from the Dark Web
On Monday afternoon, December 17, a controlled delivery of a package with the drug removed was made to Finver’s home.
The parcel was accepted by Finver himself and just a few minutes later, police officers served him with a search and seizure warrant.
According to federal court papers, the 54-year-old doctor waived his Miranda rights and divulged that he had been procuring cocaine and heroine from the dark web.
He also revealed the fact that he ordered these controlled substances over the dark web seven times in the last two months and paid for them using Bitcoin.
Finver has always spoken overtly about his own struggle with drug addiction and being a recovering addict.
He told prosecutors that he would snort the cocaine and heroin and tat he used a box of synthetic urine to pass the weekly drug tests required by the addiction recovery program.
No Longer Treating Patients
According to Anne Constantino, CEO and president of Horizon Health Addiction Services, Finver cannot practice medicine following his arrest and he is no longer offering medical services to Horizon’s patients.
Constantino admits, however, there is no indication that Finver was supplying heroin and cocaine to his patients.
Finver’s colleagues were saddened to hear about his arrest, as he pro-actively helped develop the drug addiction treatment services at Horizon Village Terrace House, a 28-bed residential rehabilitation center in Buffalo.
They said that relapses in recovery are common.
The University of Buffalo, were he served as medical director of the addiction recovery program, also terminated him on December 20.
Officials said that Finver made his first appearance without an attorney and was then released on conditions. If found guilty, Finver faces 20 years in jail as well as a $1 million fine.