Area Doctor, Pharmacist and Pharmacy Owner Charged In Conspiracy To Illegally Distribute Narcotics
MAY 6 -- (HOUSTON) - Dr. Peter Okose, 56, Troy Solomon, 47, and Bede Nduka, 55, have been charged in a three-count indictment alleging conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Zoran Yankovich, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston Division.
The indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. All three defendants were arrested by investigating agents this morning and are expected to make their initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Houston today when the issue of bond is expected to be raised and decided.
Okose, a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of Texas, was engaged in the private practice of medicine with two offices called the Universal Medical Clinic located on the 10200 block of the East Freeway and another on the 10200 block of Federal Road during the course of the alleged conspiracy. Solomon is the owner of Ascensia Nutritional Pharmacy located on the 5400 block of the S. Loop West, while Nduka, is a licensed pharmacist employed at Solomon’s pharmacy.
three defendants are accused of conspiring
to distribute prescription drugs, principally
hydrocodone products, outside the course
of professional medical practice and not
for a legitimate medical purpose - knowing
that some of the prescription drugs were
to be sold on the street. They are alleged
to have demanded and received payments in
cash only from the persons receiving the
prescriptions and filling the prescription
to enrich themselves. Hydrocodone is an opiate
derivative and a Schedule II controlled substance
and generally used as a prescription painkiller.
Hydrocodone products are prescription drugs
containing hydrocodone and any other non-narcotic
ingredient, such as acetaminophen or an antihistamine
in therapeutic amounts, and are Schedule
III controlled substances.
The indictment also includes a “Notice of Forfeiture” provision informing the defendants of the intent of the United States to forfeit their interest in any and all of the proceeds generated as a result of the alleged drug distribution.
Conviction of the drug conspiracy and each of the two drug distribution counts carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Parole has been abolished in the federal prison system.
The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation being conducted by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division and officers of the Houston Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stuart A. Burns.
indictment is an accusation of criminal
conduct, not evidence.