DEARBORN — A Dearborn-based doctor has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances after allegedly writing prescriptions that were not needed.
According to authorities, Dr. Tete Oniango, 47, confessed to prescribing 12,500 dosage units of hydrocodone. The allegations originally came out in 2017.
“Hydrocodone is extremely addictive and can lead to addiction and eventual heroin use,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said. “Michigan has seen a devastating number of opioid drug overdoses in the last five years. My office remains committed to pursuing medical providers who abuse their roles as caregivers and inflict harm upon our community.”
With the guilty plea, Oniango also agreed to forfeit nearly $37,000 that was seized from his office.
James A. Tarasca, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division, said that his office is committed to pursuing doctors and medical professionals who inflict harm on the community.
“Physicians who provide prescription drugs without a legitimate medical purpose are contributing to the drug epidemic in our community,” he said. “The message should be clear, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to focus our efforts on any doctor or healthcare professional who prioritizes profit over patient health and safety.”
Oniango will be sentenced on Aug. 22.