News Release
Date: August 22, 2012
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 954-660-4602

Pharmacist Found Guilty of Illegally Distributing Oxycodone

AUG 22 (TAMPA, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Robert E. O'Neill, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announces that yesterday a federal jury found Ihab "Steve" Barsoum (42, Lutz) guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, and five counts of distributing Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice. Barsoum faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. In addition, Barsoum’s DEA registration number, his Florida pharmacy license, $40,000 in cash, and two BMWs were also forfeited.

Barsoum was indicted on October 26, 2011, and the indictment was superseded on July 5, 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7, 2012.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Barsoum was involved in a conspiracy, from at least 2007, where he dispensed hundreds of Oxycodone pills. The pills were dispensed to customers passing fraudulent prescriptions and sometimes to customers who had no prescriptions at all. Some of the regular customers who visited Barsoum’s pharmacy did not show any identification. Some even presented Barsoum with prescriptions in several different names during the same visit.

Starting in 2011, Barsoum sold thousands of pills to a confidential source working with the DEA. Barsoum instructed the confidential source on how to write the medical information on prescriptions that Barsoum knew were fraudulent. He also provided the confidential source with the name and DEA registration number of a real doctor to use for the fraudulent prescriptions. Evidence showed that Barsoum documented his files to indicate that he verified, with that same doctor, that the prescriptions were valid and the medication could be dispensed.

Based on the investigation, Barsoum was responsible for the distribution of more than 40,000 Oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

This case is part of “Operation Pill Nation II” - a concerted effort among federal, state, and local law enforcement, to combat the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in Florida and across the nation.

The case was investigated by the DEA Tampa District Office, Tactical Diversion Squad, which included Task Force Officers from the Tampa Police Department, Lakeland Police Department, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.