Drug Enforcement Administration


Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge

June 15, 2017

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (571) 262-2887

Doctor Operating Pill Mill In Pompano Beach Arrested

Dr. Willem Ouw generated prescriptions of Oxycodone in excess of 400,000 pills with an estimated value of $10 million

JUN 15 - POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - On June 15, 2017, Dr. Willem Ouw, 84, a licensed physician practicing in Pompano Beach, Florida, was arrested at his office, the Medical Center of North Broward, 38 NE 20th Ave., Pompano Beach, Florida, following the return of a 10 count indictment on June 14, 2017 on federal charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Distribution of Oxycodone. Also arrested at the medical center were medical staffers Donna Licata, 62, and Belafonte Byard, 50. 

Medical staffer Sarah Shoopman, 36, was arrested the same day at her residence in Lake Mary, Florida. The medical staffers were each charged with one count of conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance without authorization by law. If convicted, each of the Defendants faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years imprisonment on each count.

Following his arrest, Dr. Ouw surrendered his medical license and DEA registration to authorities.
The DEA Miami Division Office conducted an 18 month investigation into the over-prescribing of controlled substances by Dr. Ouw and his medical staff during which Dr. Willem Ouw met with undercover operatives and provided prescriptions of controlled substances without proper medical examination for which he received cash payment. Sarah Shoopman, Donna Licata and Belafonte Byard directed the patients on what to do and took cash payments on behalf of Dr. Ouw.

Throughout the investigation, it was determined Dr. Ouw and his medical staff generated prescriptions of Oxycodone in excess of 400,000 pills, with an estimated value of $10 million. In addition, Dr. Ouw prescribed over 16,000 amphetamine tablets and 64,000 morphine pills. All pills were prescribed without medical necessity. 

DEA agents obtained an indictment of real property owned by Dr. Ouw in Florida and New Jersey. In total, the value of indicted seizures was in excess of $1.5 million. 

On June 15, 2017, Shoopman made her initial appearance in federal court in Orlando, Florida. On June 16, 2017 Dr. Ouw, Byard, and Licata made their initial appearances in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA Miami Divisional Office with the assistance of the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Office Money Laundering Task Force, and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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