MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A pharmacy in Madison Heights has been busted for the illegal sale of thousands of controlled substances to people without prescriptions, officials said.
Suspicion surrounds pharmacist with revoked license
The Detroit DEA was contacted in April 2021 by a Michigan pharmacy investigator who said Yousef Kosho, 43, of Sterling Heights, was operating Great Health Pharmacy in Madison Heights.
Officials said Kosho had a revoked pharmacist license.
Investigators said they confirmed that the pharmacy was actively dispensing controlled substances, so they set up surveillance.
Kosho was often the first person to enter the pharmacy during the day and the last person to leave, according to authorities. He was inside when customers would often walk in empty handed and leave holding what appeared to be fill prescriptions, police said.
The investigation also revealed Kosho was selling pharmacy stock bottles of oxycodone 30mg, oxymorphone 40mg, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup for highly inflated cash prices to people who didn’t have prescriptions, according to court records.
Police said they executed two undercover buys using sources, and during those transactions, pharmacy stock bottles of controlled substances were bought from Kosho at Great Health Pharmacy.
Customers come and go during surveillance
Authorities set up electronic surveillance that showed customers coming and going from Great Health Pharmacy while Kosho was present.
On May 24, Kosho was the first person to enter the pharmacy for the day, officials said. A silver SUV had parked in the lot before Kosho arrived, and after he walked inside, the driver of the SUV got out and entered the pharmacy, according to authorities.
Police said the man left the pharmacy carrying what appeared to be a prescription bag and drove away.
Investigators later saw a silver Ford sedan pull into the pharmacy, and a man tried to enter through the front door. Officials said the door was locked, so the man stood outside for about 30 seconds before he was allowed inside.
That man also left carrying what appeared to be a prescription bag, according to authorities.
Another driver pulled into the parking lot, got out and tried to walk into the pharmacy, police said. The door was locked, so he got on his cellphone, authorities said. The front door opened shortly after, and the man later exited the pharmacy with what appeared to be a prescription bag, according to police.
The driver of a black Dodge Charger tried to enter the pharmacy, but had to knock because the front door was locked, officials said. After he was allowed inside, the man later exited carrying three objects that all appeared to be pharmacy stock bottles, court records show.
Drug marketer visits pharmacy
Police said a vehicle registered to Omar Madison, known by the DEA as a drug marketer, pulled into Great Health Pharmacy on June 29.
Madison went into the pharmacy and then walked right back out empty-handed, according to officials. Kosho wasn’t at the pharmacy at the time, police said.
The following day at 12:41 p.m., Madison’s vehicle returned to the parking lot while only Kosho was inside the pharmacy, according to court records. Madison got out of his car at 12:42 p.m. and knocked on the door, police said.
Kosho was seen on surveillance video unlocking the door and letting Madison inside after a fist bump, the criminal complaint says.
Police said Madison left the pharmacy at 12:48 p.m. with a white bag.
MSP pulls over drug marketer
A Michigan State Police trooper pulled over Madison’s vehicle at 12:53 p.m. on John R Road, just south of 10 Mile Road, officials said.
The trooper said Madison had tried to present his Tennessee driver’s license, and when asked for his Michigan license, admitted that it had been suspended.
Madison told the trooper he was coming from a pharmacy, where he picked up a prescription for his patient, according to authorities. He handed a bag with pills to the trooper, police said.
When the trooper asked Madison if there were any other prescriptions in the car, Madison said there was another bag and gave permission to check it, court records show.
The trooper said the bag contained a bottle of promethazine with codeine, two 60-count bottles of oxymorphone 40mg and one 100-count bottle of oxycodone 30mg.
Since there was no patient information affixed to any of the bottles, the drugs were confiscated, police said.
Madison was released at the scene around 1:15 p.m.
Sterling Heights search warrant
A federal search warrant was authorized July 20 for Kosho’s house on Viceroy Drive in Sterling Heights, according to authorities.
During the search, investigators found two Apple iPhones in Kosho’s bedroom, they said.
A federal search warrant for those devices was authorized on Aug. 25, and officials said they discovered text messages from the date Madison was pulled over by a state trooper.
Here is an excerpt of the text message conversation between Kosho and Madison that was included in the criminal complaint. It began at 3:01 p.m. -- after the traffic stop -- according to officials.
Kosho: “U coming back? I’m about to run an errand”
Madison: “I got flick soon as I pulled out”
Kosho: “R u good?”
Kosho: “Oh damn”
Madison: “Collisium (with a thumbs-up emoji)”
Madison: “They said I am but it was crazy”
Madison: “They took the patients medication”
Kosho: “Stop by back in”
Madison: “Hell naw meet me somewhere”
Madison: “You was rushing need there labels”
Kosho: “I can get them all”
Madison: “Ok bet”
Kosho: “Where you wanna meet”
Madison: “I just said it”
Madison: “Lmk (let me know)”
Madison: “Or tomorrow”
Kosho: “OK bet”
Officials said Kosho appeared to be worried that Madison had been stopped by state police, specifically.
Madison appeared to be telling Kosho that he needed to put labels on the prescription bottles, and Kosho replied that he could get them, according to the complaint.
Search warrant at pharmacy
On July 20, a search warrant for Great Health Pharmacy was authorized, and investigators inventoried the total number of controlled substances inside, officials said.
That number was compared to manufacture dispensing logs for the pharmacy to reveal the following shortages of stock from the pharmacy, including estimated bottle shortages based on the common size of stock bottles.
- Hydrocodone- Acetaminophen, 10-325 mg, Tablets: 3,138 tablets (approximately three 1,0000-count bottles).
- Oxycodone- Acetaminophen, 10-325 mg, Tablets: 8,503 tablets (approximately 85 100-count bottles).
- Oxycodone HCL, 30 mg, Tablets: 10,000 (approximately 100 100-count bottles).
- Oxymorphone HCL ER, 40 mg, Tablets: 3,712 (approximately 61 60-count bottles).
- Promethazine-Codeine, 6.25-10 mg/5 mL, Syrup: 283,063 mL (approximately 598 473-mL bottles).
Officials believe the shortages show Kosho was selling large quantities of controlled prescription drugs.
Federal search warrants for multiple bank accounts, investment accounts and safe deposit boxes associated with Kosho were authorized on July 20 and July 22, court records show.
Investigators said they seized more than $380,000 from several bank and investment accounts and more than $1,200,000 from several safe deposit boxes.
Officials believe the money was made through the sale of narcotics.
Kosho is facing charges of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.