OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal grand jury has indicted Dr. Amar Nath Bhandary on 53 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances that led to the deaths of five people.

According to an investigation by the DEA, FBI and Norman Police Department, the crimes occurred in 2008 and 2009. The federal indictment alleges Dr. Bhandary, 51, dispensed the drugs to eight people outside of his professional practice without a legitimate medical reason.

The indictment also claims the drug distribution resulted in the deaths of five people from drug toxicity.

Investigators say Dr. Bhandary dispensed narcotic pain relievers and central nervous system depressants such as morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, diazepam, temazepam and clonazepam.

Investigators say all the drugs are available by prescription only, and can lead to respiratory depression and death when taken together.

If convicted, Dr. Bhandary could be sentenced to up to life in prison for each of the five counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances that resulted in the five deaths. In addition, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the other 48 counts of illegal distribution of the controlled substances.