FRESNO, Calif. — On April 16, 2019, a Madera pharmacist and two others were arrested in connection with a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone.
On April 11th, a federal grand jury returned a 42-count indictment, charging:
- Ifeanyi Vincent Ntukogu, 44, of Fresno, a pharmacist, with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and 17 counts of distribution of controlled substances.
- Kelo White, 38, of Fresno, with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and 12 counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
- Donald Ray Pierre, 50, of Fresno, with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, 10 counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and two counts of identity theft.
According to court documents, Ntukogu owned and operated New Life Pharmacy in Madera. Between December 2014 and November 2018, Ntukogu filled fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, then dispensed the controlled substances to White and Pierre.
Ntukogu was arrested at the New Life Pharmacy in Madera and White and Pierre were arrested at their homes in Fresno.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the California Department of Health Care Services.
“It’s mind boggling to think those who have access to Schedule II controlled substances through their health care profession would violate their oaths and knowingly contributed to the growing abuse of prescription drugs,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “I applaud the efforts of law enforcement to investigate those who are breaking law and facilitating the illegal possession of prescription drugs.”
If convicted, Ntukogu, White and Pierre each face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine in connection with the drug charges. Additionally, Pierre faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine in connection with the identity theft charges.