The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed suit against a Maryland doctor who allegedly illegally distributed opioids to patients. In an April 12 statement, the DOJ attorneys involved describe over a dozen criminal counts that the Maryland doctor has been charged with.
According to the DOJ, Dr. Ndubuisi Joseph Okafor, 63, allegedly distributed the opioid oxycodone to individuals in a way that deviated from the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. Dr. Okafor allegedly used his medical practice in Washington D.C. to perform these illicit acts. According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Okafor “performed only cursory evaluations of individuals, and further solicited and received cash inside the examination rooms of his clinic in exchange for opioid prescriptions.”
The U.S. DOJ has charged Dr. Okafor with 16 counts of illegal distribution of opioids. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 160 years in prison, 20 years for each count.
Since 2018, the NEPO and Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Forces have partnered with law enforcement agencies and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to prosecute medical professionals and others involved in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids. According to their statement, “NEPO and ARPO have charged over 115 defendants, collectively responsible for issuing prescriptions for over 115 million controlled substance dosage units. As a result, to date, more than 70 defendants have been convicted.”
According to the DOJ, Maryland patients receiving care from this practitioner who wish to obtain information on how to find treatment for mental and substance use disorders associated with his alleged criminal activity, where to access naloxone and other harm reduction services, and information about crisis helplines can utilize these Maryland resources:
- Find substance use treatment facilities through findtreatment.gov/.
- Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for suicide and behavioral health crises.
- Public Overdose Response Programs in Maryland supply naloxone and may be found using this website.
- Naloxone may be found in local pharmacies and billed to insurance and Medicaid.
If you or a loved one have been prescribed opioids and developed a substance abuse disorder, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Visit the Medtruth legal claims page for a free case review.