Accused Drug Doctors Have Many Supporters - - The News for South Mississippi

Accused Drug Doctors Have Many Supporters

BILOXI (WLOX)-- Many people in the local Vietnamese community are shocked and saddened over the arrests of two doctors and a pharmacist, who are accused of illegally distributing prescription narcotics.

Patients of Dr. Thomas Trieu and his wife, Dr. Victoria Van, say the family doctors they know are caring people who would go out of their way to help others in need. 

Ann Nguyen is among their supporters.

"Dr. Trieu is a very good doctor. He took care of my mom and my son. Even in the middle of the night he stayed for us. Please let him out, because he is a very good doctor to our family and to everybody," she said outside the federal courthouse, where defendant Richard Trieu made an appearance Tuesday.

Shock and disbelief resonated throughout the close knit Vietnamese community with the arrests of the two physicians.

Federal investigators say large volumes of prescription narcotics were doled out at the Family Medical Center and adjacent pharmacy. But patients of the medical couple paint a far different picture.

One woman, named Cindy, says her two year old daughter was extremely ill when Dr. Van went out of her way to care for the child.

"It was time for her to close the clinic and go home. But Dr. Van stayed around to take care of my daughter. Within two to three hours after Dr. Van took care of my daughter, she felt much better and was playing and talking."

Patients share similar stories about Dr. Trieu.

"I'm low income, no insurance. He still helped me. He took such good care of me, I didn't have to go to the hospital and pay a lot of money," said one former patient.

When Dr. Trieu opened his Biloxi office in 1998, it was a godsend for Vietnamese patients, many of whom spoke little or no English.

Six years later, in 2004, Dr. Trieu opened a new and expanded Family Medical Center on Division Street.

Despite federal investigators claims that the clinic and adjoining pharmacy were the center of an illegal drug operation, many former patients recall stories of compassionate caring.

"My daughter, Tina Nguyen, her ear was bleeding. It happened over a weekend, there was no doctor working, but Dr. Trieu opened his clinic just for Tina, just for my daughter. Both doctors are being held without bond, awaiting a federal trial set for August 18th," said Diane, another former patient.

Both doctors and the other two defendants are being held without bond.

Their trial has been set for August 18th.

By Steve Phillips

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