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Doctor pleads guilty to trading drugs for sex

JoshuBar/ phofrom Cook County Sheriff's office

Joshua Baron / photo from Cook County Sheriff's office

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A suspended doctor once affiliated with three Chicago hospitals pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge of distributing prescription drugs in exchange for sex in 2009.

Joshua D. Baron, 40, also admitted to providing about 149 prescriptions — totaling thousands of doses — to 16 different people in exchange for sex from 2006 to 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Baron was originally arrested in January 2011 after an undercover sting by Wilmette police, in which he arrived at a specific location allegedly expecting to trade an Adderall prescription with a fictitious woman in exchange for sex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He was federally charged in October 2011 after a broader investigation by the DEA and Chicago police.

Licensed in Illinois in 2006, Baron treated patients at Rush University Medical Center, Stroger Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital, officials said. He has voluntarily surrendered his medical license and his DEA registration in 2011.

Baron admitted to posting at least 78 ads under the “Men Who Would Pay” and “Casual Encounters” sections of Craigslist offering to trade various drugs for sex and/or money, officials said.

Baron dispensed 1,710 pills of Adderall, 1,830 pills of Norco, 180 pills of Percocet, 1,710 pills of Xanax, 270 pills of Vicodin, 180 pills of Demerol, 90 pills of Diluadid, 120 pills of Focalin, 150 pills of Phentermine, 30 pills of Klonopin and 15 pills of morphine sulfate to 16 people, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Baron, of Forest Park and formerly of Oak Park, remains free on his own recognizance pending sentencing June 30 by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, according to officials.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, the release said. His plea agreement provides for an advisory sentencing guidelines range of 9 to just over 11 years.

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