Self-described 'El Chapo of Opioids' faces federal charges

A New Jersey doctor who authorities say referred to himself as the "El Chapo of Opioids" is facing federal charges.

Robert Delagente was scheduled in court Monday. The Oakland-based Delagente is charged with distributing a controlled dangerous substance and obstruction.

The U.S. attorney's office alleges Delagente prescribed opioids for patients without seeing them and often allowed them to choose their own dosage. He's also charged with altering medical records to hide his activities.

Both charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint, Delagente didn't monitor whether his patients were becoming addicted to the painkillers. He also allegedly prescribed the drugs to people he knew were already addicted.

An attorney listed as representing Delagente didn't immediately return an email seeking comment on the charges.