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A man in an FBI vest talks with Peru police and investigators as Dr. Constantino “Tino” Perales is in the background near the medical office at 1016 Seventh St., Peru. Peru police as well as people with vests and jackets marked “DEA” and “FBI” raided the office Monday afternoon.
Police assist Dr. Constantino Perales into a car. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
UPDATE: Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. this morning set Dr. Constantino Perales' bond at $1 million.
By Tom Collins and Kevin Caufield NewsTribune Reporters
OTTAWA — A Peru physician was taken into custody Monday following a surprise raid on his practice that involved illegal drug sales and sex with patients. Dr. Constantino Perales, 62, of 1201 Fourth St., Peru faces two preliminary counts of unlawful possession and/or delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 3 felony carrying 2-5 years and a Class 3 felony carrying 3-7 years in prison. Court dates are pending. The case is assigned to Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia. However, Perales was expected to appear this morning for a bond hearing before Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. (Raccuglia is presiding over a murder trial) at which time a private attorney reportedly from Chicago expected to enter an appearance. This morning, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation ordered the temporary suspension of Dr. Perales’ Physician and Surgeon License and Controlled Substance License to practice medicine as a physician and surgeon in the state of Illinois pending proceedings before an administrative law judge at DFPR and the Medical Disciplinary Board of the State of Illinois. DFPR documents obtained by the NewsTribune allege Perales issued prescriptions for controlled substance medications to patients, provided those patients with cash to purchase those medications and requested those patients bring the substances back to Perales. Additionally, the document alleges Perales gave the medications to a patient knowing the patient would sell those medications and arranged to split the money with that patient. The document also alleges Perales had participated in sexual acts with patients of his practice and took one patient on several trips to casinos where they engaged in drug use and sex. Another patient was alleged to trade sex for drug prescriptions with Perales. On Aug. 21, a patient entered Perales’ office and was given multiple prescriptions for controlled substance medications including roxicodone and Xanax. The conversation was recorded by authorities and in those recordings it was revealed Perales had assigned the prescriptions for reasons other than medically accepted purposes and made arrangements to procure the controlled substances at a later date. Perales was taken into custody at 5:05 p.m. Monday at his Seventh Street office west of Monks Avenue of Peru. Peru police’s Special Investigation and Enforcement Unit were assisted at the scene by agents of the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. About 20 officers and federal agents were on scene. Peru police chief Doug Bernabei said Perales was apprehended following a “complex” narcotics distribution investigation. Perales might not stay long in La Salle County Jail. Bernabei said he anticipated federal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, meaning Perales could face federal charges later.