Ohio Doctor Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Distribution of Opioids

DOJ News –

An Ohio physician who owned a Dayton-area medical practice pleaded guilty today for illegally distributing opioids.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers of the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Detroit Division, Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge William C. Hoffman of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office made the announcement.

Morris Brown, M.D. 75, of Dayton, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances before U.S. District Judge Walter Rice of the Southern District of Ohio. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rice on May 8.

As part of his guilty plea, Brown admitted that he prescribed controlled substances to patients in amounts and for lengths of time that were outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.  Brown also admitted that he routinely prescribed controlled substances to patients even though various “red flags” suggested that he should stop writing those prescriptions, change the prescriptions and/or counsel patients accordingly.  Further, Brown admitted that he prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs known to heighten the risk of overdose and death.

Brown owned the building in which his practice operated, and leased space in the building to a pharmacy named Dayton Pharmacy through which the vast majority of his prescriptions were filled.  Brown admitted to distributing approximately 73.5 kilograms of opioids by converted drug weight.

Brown no longer maintains a DEA registration.

Brown was charged along with Ismail Abuhanieh, 50, of Phoenix, Arizona; Mahmoud Elmiari, 44, of Bellbrook, Ohio; Yohannes Tinsae, 48, of Beavercreek, Ohio; and Mahmoud Rifai, 50, of Detroit, Michigan in April 2019.  All four of Brown’s co-defendants were charged for their roles in agreeing to obtain controlled substances for Dayton Pharmacy by fraud or misrepresentation.  Elmiari and Tinsae have entered guilty pleas and are scheduled for sentencing on May 13, 2020.  Abuhanieh is scheduled for a change of plea on March 10, 2020.  Rifai is the subject of an active arrest warrant.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Full Press Release

This post expires and will no longer be available at 1:42 pm on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

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