Ex-doctor admits exchanging drugs for sex on Craigslist

Joshua Baron, 37, of the 800 block of South Taylor Street in Oak Park, was arrested in Wilmette recently after allegedly exchanging e-mails with an undercover police officer who responded to an ad on Craiglist. The Oak Park physician was arrested in Wilmette after allegedly posting a drugs-for-sex advertisement on Craigslist, authorities said. (Wilmette Police Dept. / January 14, 2011)

A former Oak Park doctor pleaded guilty to federal drug charges Friday, roughly three years after suburban authorities arrested him for attempting to trade prescription drugs for sex with an undercover police officer.

Joshua Baron, 40, a former pediatric neurologist who was once affiliated with three Chicago hospitals admitted today that he provided thousands of doses of controlled substances to 16 individuals between 2006 and 2011 in exchange for sex and money.

Baron would post advertisements offering to trade the prescription drugs on Craigslist, authorities said.

Authorities said Baron dispensed a total of 3,420 Adderall and Xanax pills -- along with a host of other painkillers and controlled substances.

The individuals Baron made the exchanges with were never his patients, federal authorities said.

Baron was initially charged in January 2011 after a sting conducted by the Wilmette Police Department. He was charged federally in October of that year after a broader investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Chicago Police Department, federal authorities said.

Baron was suspended from his job at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago after his arrest.

Baron’s work focused on epilepsy and had ongoing trials in examining sleep symptoms in children with epilepsy, as well as studies to evaluate novel pharmaceuticals, the hospital’s website said.

Baron will be sentenced on June 30, authorities said, and he faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Authorities said his plea agreement provides for a sentencing recommendation of nine to 11 years in prison.  

Federal authorities said Baron voluntarily surrendered his medical license and federal drug registration in 2011.