Crime & Courts

Eye doctors charged in hydrocodone trafficking scheme

Two Charlotte-area eye doctors have been charged with drug trafficking after police say they wrote bogus hydrocodone prescriptions for some of their patients and then stole the pills.

Dr. Benjamin Hobbs and Dr. Samuel Hobbs, who are brothers and the owners of the Clear View Eye Care, OD, were each charged with trafficking in opiates, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and larceny.

They were taken to Mecklenburg jail after being interviewed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives. Their bond information wasn’t available late Tuesday.

According to investigators, victims came forward and told them the Hobbs brothers wrote prescriptions for hydrocodone then requested they return to the practice with the filled prescriptions. Once at the Clear View Eye Care, some or all of the drugs were removed from the pill bottles, according to police.

Police say the brothers have prescribed “a large amount of hydrocodone” for patients, but didn’t disclose how much.

The doctors have two offices – one in Matthews and one in the Steele Creek community of southwest Charlotte. According to biographies on the website of their practice, the brothers graduated from East Carolina University, then obtained doctorates of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Investigators encouraged anyone with information about the case to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer