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Physician who practiced in Henrico pleads guilty to drug distribution charge | Crime, Police & Fire

RICHMOND—A physician who practiced in Henrico County and Fredericksburg pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to distributing oxycodone and tramadol and was taken into custody.

Dr. Zeljko Stjepanovic, 59, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced Feb. 24 by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Stjepanovic, a U.S. citizen, received his medical degree in Serbia in 1984.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one of 10 counts in a Feb. 19 indictment charging him with distributing the two opioid drugs outside of his professional practice and without a medical reason from 2015 to last year.

According to a Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit filed in the case, in recent years Stjepanovic practiced at two addresses in Fredericksburg and in the 2000 block of Bremo Road in Henrico.

Stjepanovic improperly prescribed pain medications to two undercover female law enforcement investigators, one of whom asked him for “happy pills,” according to the DEA.

The operatives paid for their visit in cash, investigators said. Prescriptions were written without any physical examinations and without either woman providing a urine sample.

Stjepanovic had been free on bond. His lawyers with the public defender’s office sought to have him remain free pending sentencing. Hudson, however, said that given the nature of the crime to which Stjepanovic pleaded guilty, the circumstances would have to be “exceptional.”

His lawyers said the Virginia Board of Medicine’s investigation into his case is pending.

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