Dr. Joseph Ndolo of Fairhope appeared in federal court Friday to face charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and the unsealed warrants from his arrest paint a picture of a medical practice rife with sexual impropriety in exchange for prescription drugs.
Federal agents executed a warrant and arrested Ndolo at his office, Primer Internal Medicine, on March 27.
Following his March 28 arraignment, the U.S. District Court Southern District of Alabama unsealed an eight-page criminal complaint against Ndolo.
The complaint alleges Ndolo excessively provided numerous patients with controlled substances, ignored previous toxicology screenings and provided many prescriptions without proper medical need.
The prescriptions issued included several opiates, Soma and benzodiazepines, which were at times prescribed simultaneously.
The warrant was based on witness testimony, patient records and information received from an unnamed individual wearing a wire.
The complaint claims Ndolo also had sex with or exchanged sexual pictures from several patients who received prescription drugs.
One of Ndolo’s patients, Lynette Reed, was arrested for selling prescription painkillers last year.
Reed was also an employee of PIM at the time.
During a raid related to that incident, federal agents seized numerous patient files and other items as evidence.
Reed pled guilty in July of 2013 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule III controlled substance.
According to police reports, Ndolo had regularly prescribed Reed with hydrocodone pills for back pain, though he wasn’t charged with a crime during the incident.
During the process of compiling the warrant, federal agents worked with Dr. Gene Kennedy, who operates a pain clinic in Virginia.
Sixteen questionable patient files recovered from the 2013 raid were sent to Kennedy, who reviewed them as an expert witness.
He came to the conclusion that certain actions take by Ndolo were not medically legitimate and fell below a reasonable standard of care.
More than one patient in the complaint admitted to exchanging “sexual” text messages with Ndolo, and at least one patient admits to having sex with Ndolo on multiple occasions.
During an 2013 interview with federal agents, Ndolo admitted to exchanging sexual text messages with a patient listed in the complaint, but denied having sexual intercourse.
During his March 28 court appearance Ndolo waved his right for a probable cause hearing under the director of defense attorney John. W. Beck, which U.S attorney Gregory Bordenkirche agreed to.
The court proceeded with Ndolo’s detention hearing and U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Nelson allowed his release under certain conditions.
Ndolo, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Kenya, must turn in any passport or travel documents he possess and is to have no contact with anyone listed in the court complaint.
Because he has previous arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol, Nelson also required Ndolo to refrain from consuming alcohol during the trial process.
“If you offend on any of these, it will show me you’re unwilling to corporate,” Nelson said. “That would leave me with no choice but to detain you.”
The case will be presented to a grand jury with in the next 30 days, and if an indictment is found Ndolo will return to court for a formal arraignment.
Ndolo’s Alabama Controlled Substances certificate was temporarily suspended as of March 26, which requires Ndolo to cease and desist ordering, distributing or dispensing any controlled substance pending a hearing of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.
The notice of revocation said an investigation shows probable cause that Ndolo dispensed controlled substances in amounts not reasonably related to proper medical management, excessively dispensed controlled substances for many of his patients and dispensed controlled substances for no legitimate medical purpose.
He has a hearing scheduled before the board on July 16.
Trish Shaner, general counsel for the ABME said the board, which is made up of medical practitioners, has investigators who presented findings about Ndolo to its members.
The sheer amount of medication being dispensed appeared to have been an issue.
Shanner referenced Alabama Code 20-2-54 (A5), which states a controlled substances license may be revoked or suspended by the certifying boards upon a finding that the registrant excessively dispensed controlled substances.
Ndolo certificate revocation, complaint, hearing