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Press Release

Pharmacist Convicted for $1M Opioid Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal jury in the Southern District of Texas convicted a Texas pharmacist today for conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense opioids and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from May 2018 to August 2019, Sokari “Momma” Bobmanuel, 63, of Houston, was the owner and pharmacist-in-charge of Cornerstone Rx Pharmacy, which illegally distributed nearly 160,000 opioid pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone. Bobmanuel, through Cornerstone, distributed controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice, and without a legitimate medical purpose, to individuals who bought prescriptions in the names of other people. These individuals then sold the pills they bought from Cornerstone on the black market. Bobmanuel charged exorbitant prices for her pills – often over $1,000 for a single oxycodone prescription – generating over $1 million from the scheme.

The jury convicted Bobmanuel on one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises. Her sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 20 and she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

To date, 11 other defendants, including a physician and two nurse practitioners, have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the DEA Houston Division, and Special Agent in Charge James Smith of the FBI Houston Field Office made the announcement.

The DEA Houston Division and FBI investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Emily Petro, Monica Cooper, Ariel Glasner, and Courtney Chester of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Bauman for the Southern District of Texas is handling forfeiture.

Updated June 9, 2023

Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 23-646