South Florida Pharmacy Owner and Miami Gardens Couple Pleaded Guilty to Conspiracy to Illegally Distribute Hydromorphone and Oxycodone in North Florida
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Joseph Owusu, 63, of Tampa, Abbisina Hepburn, 39, and Damian Hepburn, 41, both of Miami Gardens, pleaded guilty on August 17 and August 10, respectively, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and oxycodone. Additionally, the Hepburns pleaded guilty to substantive counts of illegal distribution of hydromorphone. The guilty pleas were announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Beginning in or about October 2015, Abbisina Hepburn and Damian Hepburn began presenting fraudulent prescriptions for hydromorphone and oxycodone to Owusu and an employee at Jares Pharmacy, which was located in Sebring, Florida. The prescriptions presented were allegedly issued by a Hialeah doctor of osteopathy, to individuals other than Abbisina and Damian Hepburn. Owusu owned Jares Pharmacy, and was also the licensed pharmacist at Jares Pharmacy. Owusu and a Jares pharmacy employee charged the Hepburns $9.00 per tablet. After receiving the hydromorphone and oxycodone pills, the Hepburns traveled to the Northern District of Florida and elsewhere to sell the pills to third parties for a profit. During the course of his guilty plea, Owusu acknowledged that he dispensed the drugs in violation of federal law.
For the conspiracy charge, Owusu faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. The Hepburns face a maximum of 30 years in prison for the conspiracy count and each of the substantive distribution counts due to their prior felony drug convictions. As a part of his guilty plea, Owusu agreed to voluntarily surrender his Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) registration (license) to the DEA, and his pharmacist license and the Jares Pharmacy license to the State of Florida.
Owusu is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, and the Hepburns are scheduled to be sentenced on October 25 at the U.S. Courthouse in Pensacola.
The case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with assistance by the DEA Diversion Division, and the DEA. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
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