Docs charged with illegal distribution of drugs

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit on Wednesday unsealed a superseding indictment charging three Metro Detroit doctors and seven other individuals with conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs.

Dr. Boris Zigmond, 50, of West Bloomfield Township, Dr. Jennifer Franklin, 39, of Harrison Township and Dr. Carlos Godoy, 78, of Farmington Hills were charged in the indictment that alleges from January 2013 through May 2015, Zigmond was the leader of a large-scale prescription drug trafficking organization.

Its purpose, prosecutors allege, was to secure written prescriptions from medical doctors for controlled substances such as Roxicodone, and its generic, Oxycodone, that could be filled at various pharmacies.

According to the indictment, Zigmond’s organization distributed about 1 million pills and grossed about $5.7 million from trafficking the pills on the illegal street market, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.

Also charged were: Rodney Knight, 32, of Highland Park; Tara Marcia Jackson, 53, and Sashanti Morris, 44, both of Detroit; Anna Fradlis, 61, and Marina Jacobs, 44, both of West Bloomfield; and Maryna Pitsenko, 46, and Svetlana Sribna, 64, both of Sterling Heights.

Prosecutors allege that Zigmond, a chiropractor, did not see patients himself or write prescriptions but used Knight, Jackson and Morris as “marketers” or “patient recruiters” who would pay money directly to Zigmond or to Fradlis, Pitsenko, Sribna and Jacobs, who would then schedule appointments for phony patients with Franklin and Godoy.

Each appointment cost $500-$600 cash. Zigmond set up office in different locations in Oak Park, where Franklin and Godoy would see fake patients and write the prescriptions, McQuade said.

“Diversion of prescription pills to the street market promotes the addiction to painkillers that leads to overdose deaths,” McQuade said. “We are focusing on charging doctors, pharmacists and the networks that are putting this poison on the streets.”