Trenton pharmacist charged for selling oxycodone to street-level drug dealers

The same day her husband was charged for tax evasion and filing false returns, a former pharmacist was arrested Thursday, May 12, 2022, for her role in distributing and dispensing outside the course of professional practice large quantities of oxycodone and other controlled substances from a Trenton pharmacy,

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said Florence Ndubizu, 62, of Princeton Junction, New Jersey, is charged in a three-count indictment unsealed today with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense and to possess with intent to distribute and to dispense Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, between 2014 and 2017; one count of unlawfully distributing and dispensing a controlled substance; and one count of maintaining a premises for the illegal distribution of a controlled substance.

Ndubizu made her initial appearance by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.

According to documents filed in this case, between 2014 and 2017, Ndubizu was the co-owner and pharmacist-in-charge of Healthcare Pharmacy in Trenton.

She and her employee conspirators, acting at her direction, systematically filled fraudulent prescriptions outside the usual course of professional practice, knowing that the drugs would not be used for a legitimate medical purpose, but instead would be illegally diverted, including to street-level drug dealers.

Ndubizu, operating a single-location pharmacy, purchased and distributed millions of dosage units of oxycodone, including over 800,000 pills in 2014; over 900,000 pills in 2015; over 800,000 pills in 2016; and over 200,000 pills in 2017, until the DEA suspended the pharmacy’s registration.

During each of the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Healthcare Pharmacy was one of the largest purchasers of oxycodone in the state of New Jersey.

On Aug. 31, 2017, the DEA served Ndubizu with an order immediately suspending Healthcare Pharmacy’s ability to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone.

Ndubizu diverted oxycodone pills to cash-paying customers, including street-level drug dealers with fraudulent prescriptions, and then evaded state and federal reporting requirements by manipulating the pharmacy’s dispensing records to conceal the missing inventory.

The DEA conducted an audit of Healthcare Pharmacy’s inventory records and government reporting records and found that between April 2015 and August 2017 alone, Ndubizu and Healthcare Pharmacy diverted more than 80,000 oxycodone containing pills, containing more than 2 kilograms of oxycodone.

The conspiracy charged in Count One and substantive unlawful distribution of Schedule II controlled substances charged in Count Two each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Count Three, charging Ndubizu with maintaining Healthcare Pharmacy as a drug-involved premises carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

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