Nigerian pharmacists arrested over $9.6m illegal drugs distribution in the U.S

Three pharmacists, one doctor and two other individuals were arraigned before a U.S Court over conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs.

Nigerian pharmacists arrested over $9.6m illegal drugs distribution in the U.S lailasnews

Suspects at the center of the indictment are Nigerian pharmacists Enitan Sodiya-Ogundipe, 42, and Abiodun Fabode, 56, Pharmacist Amir Rafi, 49, Dr. Vasan Deshikachar, 50, Niesheia Tibu, 44, and Andrei Tibu, 30.

It was gathered that from January 2015 through March 2018, these pharmacists and doctor conspired with the other defendants to issue and dispense a large number of prescription opioids for supposed patients, who did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs.

Niesheia Tibu would provide patients’ names and dates of birth to Deshikachar, who would write the prescriptions without seeing the patients, official said. The Tibus would transport the patients and the prescriptions to various pharmacies, including Global Health Pharmacy, Precare Pharmacy, Friendz Pharmacy and others, court records said. At pharmacies under their control, Sodiya-Ogundipe, Rafi and Fabode are accused of dispensing the illegal prescriptions. The Tibus then obtained the drugs and sold them on the street.

Investigators revealed that the pharmacies dispensed more than 344,737 dosage units of Schedule II opioid prescriptions, during the course of the conspiracy. These controlled substances had a conservative street value in excess of $9,600,000.

“It’s incredible but true that we have seen that some of our trusted doctors, pharmacists, and medical professionals have chosen to violate their oaths and exploit our unprecedented drug crisis for profit,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

In this case, three pharmacists and one doctor allegedly conspired to distribute nearly $10 million worth of opioids into the community, potentially spreading addiction and causing untold damage to Michigan families. I want to thank the FBI, DEA, our fabulous prosecutors Brandy McMillion and Brant Cook, the IRS, the Oakland County Sheriff’s office and all of our state and local partners for their hard work on this case. As this indictment makes clear, we are determined to reduce opioid fraud and to ultimately end the drug epidemic.”

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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