MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Montgomery doctor has been indicted on federal drug distribution charges, which has left some of his patients in a tough spot.
Dr. Gilberto Sanchez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday.
One patient says he had no idea Sanchez was allegedly operating a pill mill out of his practice. That same patient said his wife had an appointment scheduled with Sanchez very soon after he was arrested.
"My wife had an appointment the very next day. If this would have happened to her while she was sitting in the waiting room you know who's going to see her? Is she just supposed to get her purse and leave," said Keith McCormick, a patient of Sanchez for eight years.
After Sanchez's indictment, McCormick and his wife began searching for a new doctor but ran into a few complications.
"The problem now is when I call to get our medical records, no one's answering the phone. Their voicemails are full, nobody's calling us back. I'm sure our problem's not unique," McCormick said.
Not only that, but he said some doctors won't even take him as a new patient.
"We went to several doctors to try to get onto their roster and once we told them the situation... you know, genuine or not, they said they weren't accepting new patients," he said.
Luckily for he and his wife they ended up finding a doctor, but can't be seen right away, meaning that his medication is going to run low.
"We finally found one late yesterday that'll see us, and our appointments are for two weeks out. So we're running the risk of our medicine running a little thin, and me being a diabetic you know that's a pretty big deal," said McCormick.
WSFA 12 News reached out to the Medical Licensure Commission of the State of Alabama and they did not want to do an on-camera interview about what patients need to do if they need refills or if they have any questions about their medications.
They did say the patients should be looking for another physician to address their medical needs, and that Sanchez no longer has a DEA certificate, so any refills on controlled substances should not be filled.
We reached out to Sanchez's office. An answering service tells us they are still open and will make medical records available upon request.
The U.S. Attorney's Office asks anyone with information regarding the investigation to please call the Drug Enforcement Agency at 205-536-7506.