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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Doctor gets probation for drug order from Canada

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

A Honolulu doctor was sentenced in federal court yesterday to five years probation and a $20,000 fine for ordering drugs from Canada via the Internet.

In addition, U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor placed Dr. Peter E. Fong on six months home detention requiring him to remain at home except when working or tending to the needs of his family.

Fong, 44, pleaded guilty in July to importing controlled substances to Hawai'i and possessing firearms while using illicit drugs. He did not contest efforts by the U.S. government to have him forfeit a late-model Lexus automobile and five pistols.

Brook Hart, Fong's attorney, said Fong completed a substance-abuse rehabilitation program in Oregon and has continued to work at Kaiser in a nonmedical position. Hart said Fong retained his medical license and hopes to resume working as a doctor once the Drug Enforcement Administration reinstates Fong's license to work with controlled substances.

Hart said Fong, who worked as an anesthesiologist at Kaiser Permanente's Moanalua Medical Center, began using the drugs to enhance his performance as a competitive bodybuilder.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kawahara, who prosecuted the case, said at the time Fong pleaded guilty to the charges that Fong used the Internet to order chemical substances from Canada and had them mailed to Hawai'i knowing it was against the law to do so. The two chemicals are essentially industrial solvents, but when consumed can be converted by the human body into "GHB," also known as the "date rape drug."

When first arrested, Fong told police he was using the substances to treat his own insomnia problems.

Reach David Waite at dwaite@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8030.