Former West Linn dentist pleads guilty to using his job to illegally distribute steroids, testosterone, Xanax

A former West Linn dentist on Wednesday admitted in court that he used his medical position for more than four years to obtain thousands of doses of anabolic steroids, hundreds of vials of testosterone, more than 3,000 tablets of Xanax and other prescription medications for his personal use and to sell to others.

Salwan Adjaj, 43, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Adjaj faces a separate pending case in federal court alleging he fraudulently obtained $8 million in loans intended for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the plea deal in the drug distribution case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Sax and Adjaj’s lawyer Ronald H. Hoevet are expected to jointly recommend Adjaj serve a year in custody and that the sentence run concurrently to whatever sentence he may face in the COVID-19 loan case.

Adjaj, who remains in custody, appeared with Hoevet and told the judge he understood the terms of the plea agreement. He also said he’s currently taking medication for depression.

Adjaj’s dental license was suspended in 2020 after an investigation by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Oregon Board of Dentistry.

On July 22, 2020, the board received a tip that Adjaj was ordering large quantities of drugs, including the anabolic steroids, from domestic and international retailers for personal use and sale. The investigation also showed that Adjaj was practicing dentistry while he was under the influence of a controlled substance that he wasn’t prescribed, according to a board summary.

From March 10, 2016, to Jan. 7, 2020, he ordered 23 different medications from the pharmaceutical company, Seacoast Medical. There was no legitimate medical use for the drugs in Adjaj’s dental practice, according to the board.

On Aug. 5, 2020, a search of his office and home turned up multiple bottles of controlled substances. He also admitted to using Diazepam without a prescription and selling steroids to others, according to a board summary.

That day he voluntarily surrendered his federal license to prescribe controlled substances. Two days later, the board issued an emergency suspension of Adjaj’s dentistry licenses.

Adjaj, a resident of West Linn, attended Oregon Health Science University’s School of Dental Medicine from August 2000 to June 2004 and earned a doctor of dental medicine degree. He then attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Dentistry from July 2004 to June 2006, according to state records.

He was licensed to practice general dentistry in Oregon on May 16, 2006, and endodontic dentistry in Oregon on July 6, 2007. He practiced endodontic dentistry, a specialty that treats tooth pain and performs root canal treatment, in Sherwood, Clackamas and Portland.

As part of the plea deal, Adjaj agreed to forfeit any property obtained as a result of his drug distribution, including a 2017 Maserati Levanti.

A sentencing date was set for Oct. 13.

— Maxine Bernstein

Email at mbernstein@oregonian.com; 503-221-8212

Follow on Twitter @maxoregonian



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