“It’s very frustrating,” Plummer said.
Mahmoud Elmiari, who was manager of Dayton Pharmacy, was also charged, according to court records.
Abuhanieh and Rifai were named defendants in a 2016 federal lawsuit in which an employee of Dayton Pharmacy claimed she regularly worked 50- and 65-hour weeks and wasn’t paid overtime.
Documents in that case, which was settled, show the pair operated at least six pharmacies in three states. In addition to Dayton Pharmacy, they ran Pharmacy One at 201 N. Yellow Springs St. in Springfield, two Quick Pharmacy locations in Phoenix, Ariz., and two Sav Max Pharmacy locations in Detroit.
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Along with Brown, whose medical office was in the same space, the four operating the pharmacy conspired to acquire and sell controlled substances through “misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge” and enrich themselves in the process, according to the indictment.
Abuhanieh, 50, of Phoenix, Ariz., Rifai, 49, of Dearborn, Mich., and Tinsae, 47, of Beavercreek, are all listed as pharmacists by Ohio’s Board of Pharmacy holding licenses effective through September. Elmiari, 43, resides in Bellbrook, public records show.
When reached by phone Thursday, Tinsae declined comment. Phone messages to other defendants were not returned.
Around August 2008, Rifai applied for and received a DEA registration for Dayton Pharmacy to dispense controlled substances, including Schedule II drugs, according to the indictment.
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The indictment claims Abuhanieh, Rifai and Elmiari opened bank accounts to fund different aspects of the alleged conspiracy.
One drug distributor, named Supplier A in a court document, refused in 2012 to continue taking the pharmacy’s orders, according to the indictment.
Then a second company refused, at which point the government claims Tinsae and others made false statements to the second supplier and subsequently to a third while trying to get controlled substances shipped to the pharmacy in 2016 and 2017.
While Brown wrote prescriptions and sent them next door to Dayton Pharmacy for filling, the pharmacy also paid Brown approximately $5,000 per month “disguised as ‘rent’ to allow them to continue to operate the pharmacy,” reads the indictment.
“That doctor allegedly operated a pill mill and funneled prescriptions to the pharmacy housed in his waiting room,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski when helping announce the results of the five-state federal law enforcement operation during a news conference Wednesday in Cincinnati.
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Brown continued prescribing opioids “even after learning that some of his patients had experienced overdoses, and in some cases, deaths,” the indictment read.
Brown, 71, a Centerville resident, surrendered his medical license permanently last year.
Business filings with the Ohio Secretary of State show Dayton Pharmacy’s parent company, Haya, LLC, dissolved in May, 2018.
More than once as sheriff, Plummer said he’d help take down a pill mill only to see another appear.
“I think it turns out to be greed,” he said. “It’s easy money for them.”
Federal agents in 2017 raid the Dayton Primary and Urgent Care Center Inc. at 301 W. First St. in Dayton. Five defendants involved with business have been indicted as part of the largest prescription opioid takedown in U.S. history, according to federal officials. Morris Brown, Ismail Abuhanieh, Mahmoud Elmiari, Mahmoud Rifai and Yohannes Tinsae are all named in a federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Ohio U.S. District Court. MIKE CAMPBELL / STAFF