Clinic Office Manager Sentenced for Operating $1.2M Pill Mill Scheme
HOUSTON – A medical clinic office manager has been sentenced for operating a pill mill clinic that unlawfully distributed over 600,000 opioid pills, announced Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
A federal jury convicted Andres Martinez, Jr., 30, and Dr. Oscar Lightner, 74, both of Laredo, April 11 for unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances and conspiracy.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal has now ordered Martinez to serve 84 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
At the trial, the jury heard evidence that Lightner and Martinez operated Jomori Health and Wellness (Jomori), a purported Houston pain management clinic, as a pill mill. Lightner, owner of and physician at Jomori, unlawfully prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances — including hydrocodone, carisoprodol and alprazolam — to his patients without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments ranging from $250 to $500.
Martinez, Lightner’s stepson, coordinated with crew leaders to bring multiple people, including individuals living in homeless shelters, into Jomori to pose as patients to obtain prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances.
Jomori received more than $1.2 million in cash over 14 months through the scheme that resulted in the unlawful distribution and dispensing of more than 600,000 opioids and other controlled substances. Lightner was previously sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s made the announcement as well.
The DEA conducted the investigation.
Patients receiving treatment at this practice who feel they want to change providers may contact their primary care provider for continued care. Individuals needing access to primary care or pain management service can find a new provider through a local Federal Qualified Health Center at Find a Health Center (hrsa.gov). Patients with insurance should contact their health insurance company.
Outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) programs are available to all persons looking for information about substance use services. For immediate and confidential help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, please call the OSAR in your region. Find OSAR and substance use services in your area on the Substance Use Service Locations map. You may also request help by contacting 211 Texas or calling 877-541-7905.