Michigan Pharmacist and Pharmacy Tech Indicted on Illegal Distribution of Oxycontin
JUL 11 -- A federal indictment was unsealed on July 10, 2008, in Detroit, Michigan, charging a Canton, Michigan, pharmacist and a Dearborn, Michigan, pharmacy technician of conspiracy and with illegal distribution of prescription drug controlled substances, United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced.
Murphy was joined in the announcement by Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Charged in the 33-count indictment was pharmacist Hossan Tanana, 42, of Canton, and pharmacy technician Osama Makki, 29, of Dearborn. According to the indictment, during 2004 and 2005, Tanana and Makki worked at Millennium Pharmacy, located in Inkster, Michigan. The two defendants engaged in a pattern of illegal conduct, including the illegal distribution of prescription drug controlled substances. During May through September of 2005, Tanana and Makki filled large amounts of Oxycontin prescriptions and received a total of $1.48 million for filling 991 illegal prescriptions. For a short time during 2005, Millennium Pharmacy ranked first in the United States for the volume of 80 mg Oxycontin purchased, compared to all other pharmacies.
These prescriptions were illegally filled by Dr. Elena Perry-Thornton, who is currently serving a six-year federal prison term for her role in issuing the illegal prescriptions. Pharmacist Tanana also sold prescription drug controlled substances without requiring a prescription.
United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy said “"The abuse and addiction to Oxycontin is a growing problem in this country. It is unconscionable for medical professionals to contribute to the improper use of this devastating drug. I commend the Drug Enforcement Administration for its efforts in making our communities safer from the dangers of the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.”
Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Detroit Field Division said, “The DEA has made it a priority to address the dangerous practice of illegally diverting prescription medications. Prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin, are controlled substances for a very good reason. If they are abused, they can lead to addiction, illness, or even death. As a pharmacist and pharmacy technician, Mr. Tanana and Mr. Makki violated the public trust by engaging with others to illegally divert prescription drugs to the street market. Their indictments make it clear that the DEA, and our partners in law enforcement, will continue to utilize our investigative techniques to bring to justice those individuals that are responsible for the illegal distribution of prescription medicines.”
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne F. Pratt and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Diversion Section.