A Nigerian anaesthesiologist, Dr. Theodore Okechukwu was sentenced last week to 25 years in federal prison for running a “pill mill” operation in Dallas.
According to authorities, vans loaded with homeless people would pull up one after another in front of Dr. Okechukwu’s Lake Highlands clinic. There patients handed over cash for falsified drug prescriptions through bars guarding a “caged cash room” at the clinic.
Dr. Okechukwu was said to have conspired with drug dealers by handing out prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone at his Medical Rehabilitation Clinic for cash payments, often without examining the patients and the dealers later sold the drugs on the street for profit.
Prosecutors also said Dr. Okechukwu and his conspirators ran the drug trafficking operation since at least 2012 and earned more than $530,000 during the first eight months of 2014. The clinic has now been shut down.
Records show Okechukwu received his medical degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria in 1980. He obtained his Texas medical license in 2000.
In addition to the doctor, who was immediately taken into custody by U. S. marshals, one of his associates, Elechi N. Oti, 50, of Augusta, Ga., was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.
Okechukwu, 59, and Oti were convicted of drug charges by a federal jury in October 2015, along with two others.
Emmanuel C. Iwuoha, 52, of Allen, and Kelvin L. Rutledge, 43, of Dallas, were each convicted on one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute a controlled substance. They are scheduled to be sentenced in April.
....Altogether a pitiable end for a doctor!