December 03, 2018
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
Pharmacist gets 10 years in prison on DEA case
Federal agents shut down two pharmacies last year after investigation shows significant diversion of opioids
PHOENIX – The DEA today announced the sentencing of former pharmacist, Vilawoe Aku Boadu, to ten years in prison and pharmacy technician, Zinka Sisic, to four years in prison, after DEA agents arrested both individuals and closed two Phoenix area pharmacies last year. Both women were convicted on federal drug and money laundering charges.
Agents began investigating Boadu and Sisic and discovered two pharmacies, Scottsdale Health Pharmacy and V-Estrella Pharmacy, were used to process fraudulent prescriptions and divert hundreds of thousands of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills. In addition, more than 13 gallons of promethazine with codeine, a frequently abused cough syrup, and the sedative alprazolam were also diverted.
“The DEA is committed to aggressively pursuing those healthcare professionals who violate our trust, and illegally peddle the controlled prescription drugs they are specifically entrusted to safeguard from diversion,” said Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona Doug Coleman. “Seeking these violators who contribute to the continuing opioid epidemic in our nation remains a top priority for the DEA, and the successful outcomes of these investigations demonstrate the steadfast commitment by federal, state and local law enforcement officials to protect our communities.”
Other conspirators sentenced to prison earlier this year include Michael Karron Holley and Julian Thomas Petty, local music artists known as “Swerve Baller” and “Bouji” who included drug trafficking inspired lyrics in their music. In addition to their arrests, federal agents seized 25 firearms, including an AK-47, several bank accounts, vehicles, and were ordered to forfeit $100,000 of other assets.
“This case clearly demonstrates our collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies at every level in apprehending anyone, especially those in a trusted medical position, who seek to bring dangerous drugs into our communities,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix. “HSI will continue to prioritize resources to combat the serious opioid addiction affecting the thousands of people across the nation.”
The sentence was delivered in court by U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations, with the support of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Phoenix Police Department, Glendale Police Department and the Surprise Police Department.