By Ralph Cipriano
On Oct. 2, 2014, FBI Special Agent Heather Whelan was operating undercover inside a suspected "pill mill," trying to talk Dr. William O'Brien 3rd into writing her a prescription for extra-strength Xanax, known as "blues."
Dr. O'Brien's response, as captured on an undercover surveillance tape, was to proposition the undercover agent, offering "Blues for a blow."
Today in court, Dr. O'Brien, acting as his own lawyer, got to cross-examine Agent Whelan about his proposition that went nowhere.
From the defense table, O'Brien recalled that the FBI agent had offered him an extra $100 for "blues," but that he wrote out the prescription for her anyway, without taking the money.
"I give you the blue Xanax," O'Brien told Whelan. "I still don't get the blow job?"
"Objection," yelled an indignant Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Beth Leahy. "She's an FBI agent."
"Overruled," said Judge Nitza Quinones, who couldn't stop laughing at the doctor's antics.
"Correct," said Special Agent Whelan, as she stared down the doctor from the witness stand.
When the cross-examination began, O'Brien asked Whelan about her usual assignment, on the drug and gang squad.
"We go after anybody doing illegal drugs," she told the doctor.
O'Brien asked Whelan if they picked her for the undercover assignment targeting his office because she was attractive.
"I just looked young," she said.
You don't think you're good looking, the doctor asked.
"Average," she said. Whether somebody is attractive or not, the agent added, is a matter of opinion.
You don't think you're thin, the doctor asked.
"Athletic," she corrected him.
You don't think somebody who's young, thin and athletic is attractive, the doctor asked.
"That's your perception," the agent said.
The doctor asked Agent Whelan if her bosses had instructed her to act seductive on her undercover assignment.
Absolutely not, she said.
The doctor then asked the agent a series of improper questions, all of which were objected to by the prosecutor.
First, the doctor asked a boyfriend, and whether she was still seeing him. Then he asked if somebody else was the father of her love child.
From the stand, the agent with the athletic build looked as if she could be pregnant, an opinion shared by other women in the courtroom.
"That's outrageous," the FBI agent told the doctor.
O'Brien began quizzing Agent Whelan about her Army career. The agent testified she had been in the U.S. Army for 13 years, including a stint in Afghanistan, rising to the rank of major.
O'Brien asked if it was true that after he hit on her, that Agent Whelan came back on her next undercover assignment accompanied by a female friend, because she was afraid of the doctor.
You know how to handle yourself in a fight, don't you, O'Brien asked.
Not when you're outweighed by at least a 100 pounds, the agent said.
The doctor conceded he was much heavier. But still, he persisted, when you were in Afghanistan, you weren't afraid to get into a fight, were you?
"Hand to hand combat," the agent asked.
Yes, the doctor said.
Agent Whelan told the doctor that when she was in Afghanistan, working as an intelligence officer alongside special forces, she didn't receive any training on hand-to-hand combat.
"That's why they give you an M-4," she said.
But she added, while she was in the FBI, she did get training on hand-to-hand combat.
O'Brien asked the agent what was her objective when she went undercover in his office.
"To get a script," she said.
Why did you offer me $100 for blue Xanax, the doctor asked.
"That was just me trying to get more scripts," she said.
The doctor asked the agent if she knew that when he gave his opening statement to the jury, that he apologized for propositioning the agent, saying it was the wrong thing to do as a doctor, and the wrong thing to do as a man.
No, she said. She wasn't in the courtroom when that happened.
"I had no way" of knowing that he apologized, she said.
Next, the doctor reviewed his interaction with the agent while she was posing as a patient. The doctor got the agent to agree that he never touched her. Then he tried to get her to say that he treated her professionally.
For the FBI agent, this was too much.
"You gave me oxycodone for a headache," she said.
The doctor returned to the subject of why the FBI had picked an attractive young female agent to infiltrate his office.
"Were you told be seductive?" he asked.
"I wasn't told anything," she said. "Absolutely not."
Her bosses were only looking for a person who looked young, she said. They could have picked a guy.
As the half-hour cross-examination wore on, the doctor seemed to be rethinking his initial assessment of the agent's overall toughness.
"If you and I got in a fight, you think you'd kick my ass?" the doctor asked.
"Objection," yelled the prosecutor.
"Sustained," said the judge, who was still laughing.