Dayton doctor pleads guilty to illegally distributing opioids

Local News

WASHINGTON (WDTN) – A physician who owned a Dayton-area medical practice pleaded guilty Friday for illegally distributing opioids.

75-year-old Morris Brown, M.D., pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances before U.S. District Judge Walter Rice. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8.

Brown admitted as part of his guilty plea that he prescribed controlled substances to patients in amounts and lengths of time that were “outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.” He also admitted that he regularly prescribed controlled substances to patients even though multiple “red flags” indicated that he should stop, change the prescription, and/or counsel that patients accordingly.

Additionally, he admitted that he prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs known to heighten the risk of overdose and death.

Brown owned the building where his practice was located and leased space in the building to Dayton Pharmacy, through which most of the prescriptions were filled. He admitted to distributing roughly 73.5 kilograms of opioids by converted drug weight.

Brown no longer maintains a DEA registration.

He was charged in April of 2019 along with:

  • 50-year-old Ismail Abuhanieh, of Phoenix, Arizona
  • 44-year-old Mahmoud Elmiari, of Bellbrook
  • 48-year-old Yohannes Tinsae, of Beavercreek
  • 50-year-old Mahmoud Rifai, of Detroit, Michigan

All four were charged for their roles in agreeing to obtain controlled substances for Dayton Pharmacy by fraud of misrepresentation. Elmiari and Tinsae entered guilty pleas and are scheduled for sentencing on May 13, 2020. Abuhanieh is scheduled for a plea change on March 10, 2020. An active arrest warrant is out for Rifai.

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