Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Two Guilty Pleas In The 2013 Case of Uptown Medical Clinic Illegally Distributing Opioids

On Tuesday, a long investigation and court case centering around the illegal prescription and distribution of over a million opioid tablets ended with a second guilty plea.

Back in March 2013, the Midtown Medical Clinic at 4527 North Sheridan was raided by the FBI, IRS, Chicago PD, and DEA. Neighbors had noticed the huge lines outside the clinic from morning until night, and notified CAPS and Ald. James Cappleman that something seemed amiss.

Some investigation, and a video of the goings-on, prompted a search warrant and accusations that the owner and attending physician at the clinic were illegally prescribing and dispensing opioids such as oxycodone, alprazolam, and hydrocone to more than 70 patients a day.

As the saying goes, the wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine. On Tuesday, a plea agreement was reached with Mohammed Shariff, the former owner of the clinic. He could face up to a 20 years in prison and a large fine in exchange for pleading guilty to conspiracy.

The physician involved, Dr. Theodore Galvani, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges in 2017. Like Mr. Shariff, he awaits sentencing.

Between February 2012 and March 2013, the clinic "illegally put close to a million illegal opioids and pills on the street," according to CBS, and profited nearly $600,000.

Ald. Cappleman, who testified in federal court in the case, posted Tuesday night on Facebook, "A huge thanks to all the neighbors who alerted me to this situation back in 2012.... after 6 years, the case is finally settled. The video I took to get the DEA involved was later used by them in court to get Dr. Galvani to plead guilty last spring and Mr. Shariff to plead guilty today."

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  1. After I posted a YouTube video in Dec. 2012, the DEA told me the next month that I had to keep quiet about this and let the illegal activity continue to help with their undercover work. That Youtube video was shown to the jury as evidence of the illegal activity. What was to take several months of undercover work took around 4 months, but that amount of time seemed like an eternity.

    1. Politician patting himself on the back.

    2. He played a big part in getting the pill factory closed. Why shouldn't he take a small victory lap?

  2. Keep up the good work alderman. Uptown has for too long been the dumping ground on the Northside for all this....sro, methadone clinic....etc. it needs to get moved out. Some people need help but too many abuse the system. Either way it's time other neighborhoods start taking they're fair share of the burden

  3. I believe candidate E Wow, Erica Wozniak, uses that location for her campaign office.

    The jokes are too easy to make.