Army Doctor Indicted for Illegally Distributing Oxycodone

In Just 3 Months Allegedly Distributed at Least 3,000 30mg Oxycodone Tablets from Illegal Prescriptions

June 2, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Dr. Joffre Erwin Robalino, age 43, of Columbia, Maryland, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. The indictment was returned on June 1, 2011, and unsealed today at Dr. Robalino’s initial appearance. Dr. Robalino was arrested last night. At his initial appearance today Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm ordered that Robalino be released on home detention with electronic monitoring under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiGiulio, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services .

“The alleged criminal action of Dr. Robalino, a military doctor for the U.S. Army, is very disappointing,” stated Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis. “Professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists, who knowingly abuse their power and the public trust to illegally dispense drugs are common drug dealers - no different than those selling illicit drugs on the street. Nobody is above the law. This type of illegal conduct will not be tolerated and will be investigated vigorously by our DEA Tactical Diversion Squads,” stated Cooper-Davis.

According to the indictment and affidavit filed in support of a search warrant for Robalino’s residence and vehicle, Robalino is a doctor and an active duty Army Captain employed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. According to the affidavit, from March 9, 2011 to May 25, 2011, Robalino allegedly wrote 16 prescriptions for oxycodone/oxymorphone products in the names of his wife and mother. The prescriptions were allegedly filled at 11 different pharmacies and paid for by TriCare, a military health insurance plan. A total of 3,525 oxycodone tablets were dispensed. According to the affidavit, a typical oxycodone prescription is written for a 30 day supply of the dug. The prescriptions written by Dr. Robalino were filled just a few days apart at different pharmacies and far exceed the amount of pills two people could consume for legitimate purposes.

The affidavit further alleges that during that same period, Robalino wrote prescriptions in the names of other individuals who were not his patients, sometimes without that person’s knowledge, filled the prescriptions himself or had others pass the prescriptions, then sold the oxycodone to other individuals for their personal use or to distribute to others. The affidavit alleges that Robalino sold at least 3,000 30 mg oxycodone tablets for $10 - $12 per tablet with pills obtained from prescriptions through these individuals.

If convicted, Robalino faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad, DCIS, and HHS-OIG for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mushtaq Gunja, who is prosecuting the case.

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