DETROIT – A Southfield, Michigan man was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for his role in distributing over 90,000 doses of Oxycontin, Percocet, and other opioids out of an area medical clinic, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.
Ison was joined in the announcement by James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Division, and Special Agent in Charge Mario Pinto of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Chicago Regional Office.
Lavar Carter, 45, was sentenced by United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. Carter initially became involved in the scheme as a patient recruiter where he used family members and people he encountered at soup kitchens to obtain information that was used to fill medically unnecessary opioid prescriptions. Carter eventually became employed at New Vision Rehab Center where he provided physicians with lists of patient names and identification that he knew were used to issue and fill medically unnecessary prescriptions. Carter and others exchanged the prescriptions for cash. Carter participated in the conspiracy between May 2019 and June 2020.
According to court records, Carter’s conduct was made even worse because, while released on bond in this case, he was surveilled by law enforcement agents working at another pain clinic to assist in the illegal distribution of more opioids.
U.S. Attorney Ison stated, “The devastation created by the opioid crisis harms our entire country. My office will zealously pursue medical providers, clinic staff, and others who inflict harm upon our community through illicit distribution of these powerful drugs.”
“The illegal distribution of opioids continues to have devastating effects on our community,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The sentencing of Lavar Carter highlights how a partnership between the FBI, DEA, and HHS leads to the successful prosecution of individuals who seek to profit off the addiction of others.”
“Profiting from the suffering of vulnerable populations will not be tolerated. Mr. Carter’s scheme of illegally funneling prescription pills into communities and fueling overdose deaths in exchange for profits has come to an end. I want to thank our law enforcement partners who worked collectively on this investigation,” stated Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Division.
“Facilitating the unlawful administration of prescription opioids, and other controlled substances, places beneficiaries of our federal health care programs at risk,” said Mario M. Pinto, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who defraud our federal health care programs and engage in other unlawful conduct that can bring harm on our nation’s beneficiaries.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Regina R. McCullough and Philip A. Ross as part of the district’s efforts to address the nation’s opioid crisis. The Eastern District of Michigan is one of twelve districts included in the Attorney General’s Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection initiative. The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/detroit/news/southfield-resident-sentenced-to-seven-years-for-role-in-illegally-distributing-over-90000-opioid-doses-at-a-medical-clinic