08/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/05/2020 16:25
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Law enforcement authorities, including special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, this morning 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.
Those charged in the indictments include Dr. John Michael Korzelius, 68, a.k.a. 'Dr. K,' of Camarillo, who worked at a Santa Ana pain management clinic where he allegedly wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions to 'patients' who paid cash. Over the course of two years, Korzelius and other medical professionals working under his guidance, prescribed approximately 439,090 pills of 30mg oxycodone - the highest dose of short-acting oxycodone available, and the dose most popular for the drug-abusing population, according to court documents.
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.
The two grand jury indictments unsealed today charge 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:
Harrison Mureithi, Mabale, Louise Mureithi, and Nojavan were arrested this morning, and they are expected to make their initial court appearances this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Korzelius, Cozart, Navarchi, and Barrios are being summonsed into court and are expected to make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court next week. Delva and Wanjohi are fugitives.
As a result of a two-year investigation into the fraudulent medical clinics, law enforcement seized 20,737 oxycodone pills, and $177,610 in cash -- and intercepted a mailed parcel contained a teddy bear stuffed with two bags of oxycodone pills.
If convicted of the charges, the defendants each would face a statutory maximum sentence of at least 20 years in federal prison.
The investigation of Majid Nojavan was conducted by HSI Los Angeles's Orange County Office and the Costa Mesa Police Department. The probe into the sham medical clinics was handled by the Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS Criminal Investigation.
These cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California's Santa Ana Branch Office.