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March 21, 2016
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 954-660-4602
@DEAMiamiDiv

Orlando Pharmacist Convicted of Illegally Dispensing Oxycodone

MAR 21 (MIAMI) – A federal jury found Valentine Okonkwo, 54, of Orlando, Florida, guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose and 10 counts of dispensing and distributing oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.   Okonkwo faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.  His sentencing hearing has been set for June 22, 2016.

According to evidence presented during the trial, Okonkwo, a licensed pharmacist, dispensed more than 500,000 oxycodone pills during the timeframe of the conspiracy and collected over $1.3 million from illegal oxycodone sales.  Okonkwo accepted fraudulent prescriptions from patients who had traveled long distances, and in groups, to get their oxycodone from his pharmacy, known as Avalon Park Pharmacy.  The patients paid a premium, in cash, for the pain pills because they had fraudulent prescriptions and prescriptions from pill mill doctors.  Avalon Park Pharmacy led the surrounding area in oxycodone distribution, including all of the major retail pharmacies.  Many of the oxycodone pills were purchased by drug addicts and drug dealers who then sold the pills for up to $15 per pill on the streets.  Okonkwo also had sex with several customers who had used fraudulent prescriptions at his pharmacy.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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