10:58 am - Tuesday December 18, 2018

INCREDIBLE IN AMERICA: 2 NIGERIAN Born Naturalized AMERICAN Pharmacists, 4 other Foreigners charged in $9.6million Drug Scam…Distributes over 344,737 doses of controlled substance across United States * ‘Purpose of scheme was for pharmacists to dispense prescriptions for controlled substances written by a doctor to “patients” in exchange for cash payments. The controlled substances were sold for profit on the illegal street market in Metro Detroit, Michigan’-INVESTIGATION * The DRUG Cartel names: ENITAN SODIYA-OGUNDIPE, ABIODUN FABODE, AMIR RAFI, DR. VASAN DESHIKACHAR, NIESHEIA TIBU and ANDREI TIBU BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

INCREDIBLE IN AMERICA:

2 NIGERIAN Born Naturalized AMERICAN Pharmacists, 4 other Foreigners charged in $9.6million Drug Scam…Distributes over 344,737 doses of controlled substance across United States

* ‘Purpose of scheme was for pharmacists to dispense prescriptions for controlled substances written by a doctor to “patients” in exchange for cash payments. The controlled substances were sold for profit on the illegal street market in Metro Detroit, Michigan’-INVESTIGATION

* The DRUG Cartel names: ENITAN SODIYA-OGUNDIPE, ABIODUN FABODE, AMIR RAFI, DR. VASAN DESHIKACHAR, NIESHEIA TIBU and ANDREI TIBU

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

THEY LIVED LIKE KINGS IN DETROIT, UNITED STATES. THEY DRIVE SLEEK CARS, EAT IN EXPENSIVE RESTAURANTS, LIVES IN EXPENSIVE MANSIONS. TWO NIGERIANS Born Naturalized AMERICANS resident in Detroit, United States are the ‘Kings of Drug Scam’. These Nigerians are: ENITAN SODIYA-OGUNDIPE, ABIODUN FABODE working jointly with four other Americans: AMIR RAFI, DR. VASAN DESHIKACHAR, NIESHEIA TIBU and ANDREI TIBU. They all have been busted by law enforcement agents for their criminal activities.

Naija Standard gathered that the suspect formed a group in January 2015 designed to distribute prescription drugs within Metro Detroit and elsewhere. Federal officials said the scheme lasted until March 2018, with the six defendants and others playing different roles at different times.

The purpose of the scheme was for pharmacists to dispense prescriptions for controlled substances written by a doctor to “patients” in exchange for cash payments. The controlled substances were sold for profit on the illegal street market in Metro Detroit.

People involved: Enitan Sodiya-Ogundipe, 42, of Novi, was a licensed pharmacist in Michigan and the owner and pharmacist of Global Health Pharmacy at 135 South Telegraph Road in Pontiac. She also owned Precare Pharmacy at 25045 Grand River Avenue in Redford Township.

Amir Rafi: Rafi, 49, of Farmington Hills, was a licensed pharmacist in Michigan and worked at Precare Pharmacy in Redford Township.

Abiodun Fabode: Fabode, 56, of Chesterfield Township, was a licensed pharmacist in Michigan and the co-owner and pharmacist of Friendz Pharmacy at 13848 West McNichols Road in Detroit.

Dr. Vasan Deshikachar: Deshikachar, 50, of Boca Raton, Florida, was a licensed medical doctor in Michigan and was authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe controlled substances at the time of the prescription drug conspiracy, officials said.

His DEA license was registered at his medical practice, Grand River Medical Center, at 11803 Grand River Avenue in Detroit. Deshikachar’s medical practice was authorized as an office-based opioid treatment program to dispense certain narcotics for the maintenance and detoxification of addicts, federal officials said. He also had an office at 8349 Vernor Highway in Detroit.

As of June 2017, both of Deshikachar’s medical officers were closed and abandoned, and he had moved to Florida.

Niesheia and Andrei Tibu: As part of the scheme, Niesheia Tibu, 44, of Canton, and Andrei Tibu, 30, of Canton, were patient “recruiters,” who found people willing to have controlled substance prescriptions issued in their names from Deshikachar.

How the scheme worked:

Niesheia Tibu would provide patients’ names and dates of birth to Deshikachar, who would write the prescriptions without seeing the patients, official said. The Tibus would transport the patients and the prescriptions to various pharmacies, including Global Health Pharmacy, Precare Pharmacy, Friendz Pharmacy and others, court records said.

At pharmacies under their control, Sodiya-Ogundipe, Rafi and Fabode are accused of dispensing the illegal prescriptions. “Before dispensing the medically unnecessary prescriptions, Enitan Sodiya-Ogundipe, Amir Rafi and Abiodun Fabode failed to exercise their corresponding professional responsibility to determine that the prescriptions were issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice,” the court complaint said.

During the conspiracy, Sodiya-Ogundipe and Rafi are accused of “slotting doctors,” which means they would only fill prescriptions for certain doctors at certain times. They would note that doctors had been called to verify the prescriptions even if it wasn’t the case, court documents say.

The subscriptions illegally written by Deshikachar were for 30mg oxycodone HCL and 40mg oxymorphone HCL ER, officials said. After his move to Florida in June 2017, Deshikachar continued to write illegal prescriptions for patients in Michigan, in exchange for cash, according to authorities.

Officials said Deshikachar stopped during prescriptions for the patients recruited by the Tibus in January 2018, so the Tibus worked with Sodiya-Ogundipe to find other doctors to write the prescriptions. The scheme continued with other doctors for some time, officials said.

Throughout the scheme, Sodiya-Ogundipe, Rafi and Fabode dispensed more than 344,737 doses of controlled substances — more than 319,397 doses of oxycodone and more than 25,340 doses of oxymorphone, officials said.

In total, the drugs had an estimated street value of $9.6 million : “Diversion of prescription pills to the street market is a direct cause of the current opioid epidemic facing our country,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said. “We are focusing on charging doctors, pharmacists and the networks that are contributing to the opioid problem in our district.”

“As we are in the midst of the worst opioid epidemic in our lifetime, it is important we team up with our federal partners and target those who peddle this death,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard said. “We will go after street dealers, physicians, and pharmacists who choose to violate the law.”

Charges issued:

Sodiya-Ogundipe is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute, 24 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and two counts of money laundering.

Rafi is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and 17 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. Fabode is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and six counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances.

Deshikachar is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and 24 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. Niesheia Tibu is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute, 30 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Andrei Tibu is charged with one count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and 30 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances.

Sodiya-Ogundipe, Rafi and the Tibus appeared in court soon.

 

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