A federal trial is expected to begin Tuesday, Oct. 6 for a doctor who’s
being accused of running a pill mill out of a pain clinic in Lake Highlands.
The Dallas doctor will be defending charges that he used his Lake Highlands
pain clinic as a front for a drug trafficking scheme.
On Monday, Oct. 5, the U.S. attorney’s office and the doctor’s
defense team selected a federal jury for the trial of Dr. T. Okechuku,
58, of Plano, who is accused of distributing hydrocodone outside the scope
of his practice.
The opening arguments were expected to commence on Tuesday morning.
The prosecutors claim that Okechuku was conspiring with drug dealers by
giving people the painkiller hydrocodone in exchange for cash payments,
often without examining the patient. The dealers would hit the streets
to sell the drugs at a profit.
Okechuku, a licensed anesthesiologist, was initially indicted back in December
2013. In addition to the drug charges, he’s facing firearms charges
due to having armed security guards protecting the drug money.
Several others who were involved in the scheme have already pleaded guilty
for their role in the alleged drug operation, one of which includes his
business manager, I. Ezenagu.
According to prosecutors, Okechuku was working with six other individuals.
Together, the group ran a profitable drug operation dating back to at
least 2012 through Okechuku’s Dallas-based business, Medical Rehabilitation
Clinic, which has since shut down.
Drug dealers would pay people to go to the clinic, which would only accept
cash for office visits. Once at the clinic, the people would mostly receive
prescriptions for hydrocodone, court records show.
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