A mother and a son are among four Kenyans indicted in US over alleged sale and distribution of Opioids.
The Kenyans are among a total of 10 suspects who allegedly worked under the guidance of one Dr. John Michael Korzelius who is 68 years old and who is a.k.a. “Dr. K,” of Camarillo.
Law enforcement authorities, including special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, this week arrested four defendants charged in two federal grand jury indictments alleging a narcotics trafficking ring that sold illegal opioid prescriptions for cash through a series of sham medical clinics.
The four Kenyans are Louise W. Mureithi, 69, her son Harrison Maruje Mureithi, 42, Duncan Muthoni Wanjohi, 23, and Xavier Muduki Mabale, 42.
The charges in this matter are the result of an investigation into ChiroMed, which operated a group of chiropractic, medical and wellness clinics in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Korzelius, along with other medical professionals, including physician’s assistants, allegedly met with fraudulent patients and provided them with unnecessary prescriptions for drugs, including oxycodone.
Dr Korzelius, who worked for ChiroMed, a group of clinics in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, is charged with the offence of illegally writing medically unnecessary prescriptions at a pain clinic to fake patients who sold the drugs.
According to authorities, Louise, Harrison, and Xavier were arrested on Wednesday and arraigned in US District Court in Santa Ana, California. Wanjohi however, is yet to be arrested and chaged.
Court documents indicate that Xavier reportedly recruited sham patients while Harrison and Wanjohi of provided cash to him to pay for the oxycodone prescriptions written to the sham patients.
Investigators say in the last two years, they have impounded 30,737 oxycodone pills and $177,610 in cash, the highest dose of short-acting oxycodone available, and the dose most popular for the drug-abusing population, according to court documents.
They also intercepted a mailed parcel contained a teddy bear stuffed with two bags of oxycodone pills.
Xavier is also accused of assisting fake patients to fill out forms claiming sicknesses to obtain the pills.
The two grand jury indictments charge the 10 defendants with a variety of narcotics-related offenses, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, distribution of fentanyl, and money laundering.
Along with Korzelius, the indictments charge:
- Justin Douglas Cozart, 42, of Woodland Hills, who operated and supervised the ChiroMed medical clinics;
- Damoon Joe Navarchi, 33, of Woodland Hills, who assisted Cozart in operating the clinics;
- Xavier Muduki Mabale, 42, of Anaheim, who is accused of recruiting sham patients to obtain fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions from the medical clinics;
- Mayra Barrios, 37, of Yorba Linda, who allegedly oversaw the day-to-day management of the medical clinics, including the issuance of fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions to sham patients;
- Harrison Maruje Mureithi, 42, of Norco, who allegedly coordinated the purchase, collection, packaging, and shipment of oxycodone to buyers on the East Coast;
- Duncan Muthoni Wanjohi, 23, of Anaheim, who allegedly assisted Mureithi in the buying and shipping of narcotics;
- Pierre Delva, Jr., 33, a.k.a. “Big Head,” of Medford, Massachusetts, who allegedly provided financing to Mureithi to purchase bulk quantities of oxycodone; and
- Louise W. Mureithi, 69, of Anaheim, Harrison Mureithi’s mother, who allegedly received packages of cash sent to her son for oxycodone;
- Majid Nojavan, 42, of Laguna Niguel, charged in a spinoff case from the primary investigation, who allegedly advertised oxycodone for sale on Craigslist, sold fentanyl to an undercover police officer, and escorted the undercover police office to an Inglewood medical clinic to obtain a fraudulent oxycodone prescription.
If convicted of the charges, the defendants each would face a statutory maximum sentence of at least 20 years in federal prison.
These cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California’s Santa Ana Branch Office.