WOODLAND HILLS— U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles arrested four defendants charged in two indictments alleging a narcotics trafficking ring that sold illegal opioid prescriptions for cash through a series of false medical clinics on Wednesday, August 5.
68-year-old Dr. John Michael Korzelius, also known as Dr. K, was one of those indicted for allegedly writing unnecessary prescriptions to “patients” who paid cash, according to the release statement. The document further states that Korzelius and other medical professionals working under his guidance prescribed approximately 439,090 pills of 30mg oxycodone – the highest dose of short-acting oxycodone available, and the dose most popular for the drug-abusing population in the course of two years, according to court documents.
During the two-year investigation, law enforcements seized 20,737 oxycodone pills, $177,610 in cash and intercepted a mailed parcel contained a teddy bear stuffed with two bags of oxycodone pills.
The indictment further charges 10 defendants with a variety of narcotics-related offenses, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, distribution of fentanyl and money laundering. Alongside Korzelius the defendants are:
- Justin Douglas Cozart, 42, of Woodland Hills, who operated and supervised the ChiroMed medical clinics;
- Damoon Joe Navarchi, 33, of Woodland Hills, who assisted Cozart in operating the clinics;
- Xavier Muduki Mabale, 42, of Anaheim, who is accused of recruiting sham patients to obtain fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions from the medical clinics;
- Mayra Barrios, 37, of Yorba Linda, who allegedly oversaw the day-to-day management of the medical clinics, including the issuance of fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions to sham patients;
- Harrison Maruje Mureithi, 42, of Norco, who allegedly coordinated the purchase, collection, packaging, and shipment of oxycodone to buyers on the East Coast;
- Duncan Muthoni Wanjohi, 23, of Anaheim, who allegedly assisted Mureithi in the buying and shipping of narcotics;
- Pierre Delva, Jr., 33, a.k.a. “Big Head,” of Medford, Massachusetts, who allegedly provided financing to Mureithi to purchase bulk quantities of oxycodone;
- Louise W. Mureithi, 69, of Anaheim, Harrison Mureithi’s mother, who allegedly received packages of cash sent to her son for oxycodone;
- Majid Nojavan, 42, of Laguna Niguel, charged in a spinoff case from the primary investigation, who allegedly advertised oxycodone for sale on Craigslist, sold fentanyl to an undercover police officer, and escorted the undercover police office to an Inglewood medical clinic to obtain a fraudulent oxycodone prescription.
Harrison Mureithi, Mabale, Louise Mureithi, and Nojavan were arrested Wednesday morning, and they made their initial court appearances that afternoon in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Korzelius, Cozart, Navarchi, and Barrios are being summonsed into court and are expected to make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court next week. Delva and Wanjohi are fugitives.
If convicted of the charges, the defendants each would face a statutory maximum sentence of at least 20 years in federal prison.