Indiana Nurse Practitioner Arrested
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Bell, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chicago Division, announced that the DEA Merrillville District Office, with assistance from the United States Marshal Service, arrested Nurse Practitioner (N.P.) Chijioke Richard Jimonu, 63, of Hammond, Indiana, for illegally prescribing controlled substance medications. N.P. Jimonu is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Indiana. The criminal trial is scheduled for April 26, 2021.
Since February 2020 the DEA, collaborating with state and federal agencies, including the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, initiated an investigation into the medical practice of N.P. Jimonu, located at the Kraunsta Family Healthcare, LLC, 5908 Columbia Avenue, Hammond, Indiana. The investigation revealed that N.P. Jimonu was prescribing significant amounts of Schedules II-V controlled substances to patients from a variety of locations throughout Indiana, without legal authority. The investigation confirmed that N.P. Jimonu had illegally prescribed very dangerous combinations of highly-abused narcotics and benzodiazepines without the required Collaborative Practice Agreement with a requisite supervisory physician, contrary to state and federal law.
N.P. Jimonu has been charged with four counts of Unlawfully Distributing and Dispensing Controlled Substances Not Authorized by Registration in violation of Title 21 Section 842(a)(2).
On August 20, 2020, the Indiana Board of Nursing voted to suspend Mr. Jimonu's Registered Nurse License and Advanced Practice Nurse certification. Consequently, on August 25, 2020 Mr. Jimonu voluntarily surrender “for Cause” his DEA Registration, based upon no requisite state licensure.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember we are still in the midst of a prescription drug crisis that is claiming the lives of thousands of United States citizens each year,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Bell. “It is critical that physicians and nurse practitioners who endanger individuals by illegally prescribing controlled substances be brought to justice.”
It should be noted that a charge is not evidence of guilt. All parties are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty in court.