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Madera Pharmacist Pleads Guilty in Long-Running Opiate Trafficking Scheme
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By Anthony W. Haddad
Published 1 month ago on
June 17, 2024

Ifeanyi Vincent Ntukogu, a pharmacist, and Kelo White pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and distributing over 200,000 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills based on fraudulent prescriptions. (Shutterstock)

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Fresno residents Ifeanyi Vincent Ntukogu, 49, and Kelo White, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and distributing oxycodone and hydrocodone, as announced by U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert on Monday.

Ntukogu, a pharmacist, dispensed over 200,000 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from December 2014 through November 2018. White and co-defendant Donald Ray Pierre, 55, of Fresno, delivered prescriptions to Ntukogu that they knew were forged and fraudulent.

Ntukogu reviewed the fraudulent prescriptions to reject the ones he believed regulators might deem suspicious.

Ntukogu dispensed the pills through his New Life Pharmacy in Madera, requiring cash payments from White and Pierre and increasing the prices he charged over time.

Ntukogu and White are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 23, 2024. They face statutory maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the conspiracy to distribute and distribution convictions. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the court’s discretion.

Pierre was previously convicted and sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the California Department of Health Care Services investigated the scheme.

 

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Anthony W. Haddad,
Multimedia Journalist
Anthony W. Haddad, who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with his undergraduate degree and has an MBA at Fresno State, is the Swiss Army knife of GV Wire. He writes stories, manages social media, and represents the organization on the ground.

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