DCA Investigators Honored at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Central District 14th Annual Law Enforcement Awards

PrintLOS ANGELES – Three Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) investigators were recognized today at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California 14th Annual Law Enforcement Awards for their distinguished service.

“It is an honor to have our investigators recognized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. “We are extremely proud of our investigators and their hard work. This recognition is well-deserved.”

Supervising Investigator Laura J. Gardhouse and Investigator Larry Bennett were recognized for their work on a case involving Dr. Andrew S. Sun. Sun, a former southern California physician, was convicted of money laundering and illegally prescribing and distributing controlled substances. Sun was sentenced earlier this year to serve five years in federal prison. DOI’s Health Quality Investigation Unit collaborated on this investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, California Department of Health Care Services, and Monterey Park Police Department.

Supervising Investigator Carmen Aguilera-Marquez was recognized for her work on operation “Cat Eyes.” The Los Angeles-area investigation led to federal criminal charges being filed last year against 12 defendants for allegedly selling decorative and cosmetic contact lenses—including some that were contaminated—without prescriptions. DOI’s Health Quality Investigation Unit collaborated on this investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Import Operations Branch of the Los Angeles District Office, FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, and California Department of Public Health.

“The Law Enforcement Awards event is one of the highlights of our year as we happily take the time to recognize the hard – and sometimes thankless – work of investigators who can devote years of their lives to a single case to ensure that justice is served,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “These awards are not only a symbol of the dedication of our law enforcement partners; they also recognize the incredible working relationships that we have forged in this District.”

The annual awards ceremony recognizes federal, state, and local agents, officers, and investigators who worked on U.S. Attorney’s Office cases in the district.

For more information on the cases, see the U.S. Attorney’s Office news releases regarding the Dr. Sun investigation and operation “Cat Eyes.”

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The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.

 

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About Monica Vargas

My name is Monica Vargas and I am an Information Officer at the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
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