Wichita Pharmacy Owner Indicted in Rx Opioid Case
WICHITA, KAN. – A Wichita pharmacist was indicted today on charges of unlawfully dispensing prescription opioids, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Ebube Otuonye, 45, Bel Aire, Kan., pharmacist and owner of Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2251 E. 21st North in Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of conspiracy unlawfully to dispense prescription drugs, one count of unlawfully dispensing prescription drugs, and two counts of health care fraud.
The indictment alleges Otuonye unlawfully distributed 21,681 tablets of Oxycodone, 48,683 tablets of Methadone, 18,049 tablets of Hydromorphone and 7,890 tablets of Alprazolam. The prescriptions, written by Wichita physician Steven R. Henson, were issued outside the usual course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, the indictment alleges. Henson is set for trial Oct. 2 on charges of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.
Today’s indictment alleges Otuonye filled large numbers of prescriptions in return for cash payments. He filled prescriptions for multiple patients presenting at one time or back-to-back and patients from the same family with identical prescriptions. The large quantities should have put him on notice as a pharmacist of the potential danger to customers of abuse or overdose. The indictment alleges Otuonye filled prescriptions that one of his fellow pharmacists refused to fill. It also alleges Otuonye posted a sign at the pharmacy telling customers that they had to have three non-narcotic prescriptions filled in order to have their narcotic prescriptions filled.
The indictment alleges Otuonye defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by submitting claims for illegally filling prescriptions.
The indictment seeks to forfeit more than $122,000 in proceeds from the crimes, as well as Utuonye’s retail pharmacy license and his DEA registration number.
If convicted, Otuonye faces penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison and fines up to $1 million on the drug charges and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the health care fraud charges.
The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Rodebaugh are prosecuting.
Timothy B. Riggans, 55, is charged with one count of bank robbery. The indictment alleges that on July 30, 2018, he robbed the Emprise Bank at 257 N. Broadway in Wichita. According to court records, Riggins was taken into custody by a bank guard immediately after the robbery.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Wichita Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.
Addison Lewis, 39, a U.S. Army veteran, and Brandi Lewis, 25, both of Hutchinson, Kan., are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and two counts of theft of government funds.
The indictment alleges Addison Lewis pretended to be blind in order to receive benefits from the Veterans Administration and Social Security. While receiving benefits, he maintained a Kansas driver’s license and was seen operating motor vehicles, a tractor and a lawn mower. It is alleged Brandi Lewis accompanied him to a vision exam and pretended to be guiding him.
If convicted, they face up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the theft charges. The Veterans Administration – Office of Inspector General and the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.
Juan Carlos Carmona, 36, Houston, Texas, is charged in a superseding indictment with five counts of producing child pornography. The new counts are in addition to an indictment in May that charged him with one count of traveling from Texas to Kansas to have sex with a minor and one count of transporting a minor from Kansas to Texas to have sex with her.
If convicted, Carmona faces a penalty of not less than 15 years on each production count, up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the travel count and not less than 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the transportation count. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.
Ashley N. Wilson, 27, Wichita, Kan., is charged with deliberately failing to deliver mail that was in her custody while she worked as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. The crime is alleged to have occurred during March through May 2018, in Sedgwick County, Kan.
If convicted, she faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000, The U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.
Corey R. Detter, 27, Great Bend, Kan., and Adrian N. Boeck, 32, Great Bend, Kan., are charged with one count of counterfeiting. In addition, Detter is charged with two counts of possessing counterfeit currency. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Jan. 3 and 4, 2018, in Barton County, Kan.
Upon conviction, each count carries a penalty of up to 20 years and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Secret Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.
Alejandro Aguilar-Montespioca, 41, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully transporting illegal aliens within the United States and one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. The crime is alleged to occurred July 7, 2018, when his car was stopped in Haskell County Kan. Three passengers including Julio Castaneda-Ruiz, 34, Mateo Lucas-Pablo, 33, and Cesar Lopez-Perez, 18, are charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported.
Upon conviction, the transportation count carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000, and the other counts carry a penalty of up to two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lind is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.