June 09, 2017
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (571) 324-7520
Pharmacist Charged In Pill Mill Case Sentenced To 24 Months In Federal Prison
DALLAS - A licensed pharmacist, Kumi Frimpong, who owned and operated the Cornerstone Pharmacy, located on Bolton Boone Drive in Desoto, Texas, was sentenced this morning for his involvement in a “pill mill” operation, announced Clyde E. Shelley, Jr., the Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, Frimpong, 57, of Dallas, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to surrender $41,112 to the United States that constitute proceeds from dispensing oxycodone during the conspiracy. Frimpong pleaded guilty in September 2016 to one count of conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone. Frimpong was ordered to report to serve his sentence no later than September 5, 2017.
“With the opioid epidemic escalating throughout our country daily, it is crucial that this peril is removed from our communities”, said SAC Shelley.
“Diverted prescription pain pills kill more people in this country than heroin, while simultaneously fueling demand for heroin itself,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “Eighty percent of heroin users started by abusing prescription pain pills first. Those who divert legitimate drugs from their lawful, therapeutic purposes to illicit, deadly purposes all in the name of money are no better than any other drug trafficker and will be treated accordingly.”
Frimpong admitted that during the conspiracy, which began in January 2013 and continued through July 2014, he and his co-conspirators distributed and caused to be distributed at least 40,000 30mg oxycodone pills in Dallas, and elsewhere that he dispensed based on prescriptions issued in the name and DEA registration number of co-conspirator, Dr. Richard Andrews of McAllen Medical Clinic.
After their arrests in January 2016, Dr. Andrews and co-defendant pharmacists Frimpong and Ndufola Kigham were ordered to surrender their DEA registration numbers, preventing Dr. Andrews from issuing prescriptions for controlled substances and Frimpong and Kigham from dispensing controlled substances. Frimpong and Kigham also surrendered their stock of controlled substances that they had at their pharmacies to DEA.
Twenty-four individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas in February 2015 on offenses related to their participation in the prescription drug distribution conspiracy. That indictment alleged that from at least May 2013 through July 2014, the defendants participated in a scheme to illicitly obtain prescriptions for pain medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, and then distribute those controlled substances for profit. As part of the conspiracy, individuals, often homeless or of limited means, were recruited and paid to pose as patients at medical clinics, including the McAllen Medical Clinic, to obtain prescriptions to fill those prescriptions at designated pharmacies.
Superseding indictments were returned in December 2015 and in January 2016, and a total of 31 individuals have now been charged. All of the defendants have pleaded guilty.
This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Louisiana State Police, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Houston Police Department, the Arlington Police Department, the Greenville Police Department, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Diplomatic Security Service.