Doctor sentenced in Georgia 'pill mill'

His brother, a federal judge, says he was didn't realize it was wrong

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 8:03 AM
Last updated 8:16 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — One of three doctors who prescribed huge doses of pain medication from a clinic off Interstate 95 near Brunswick is going to prison for three years.

Chief U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced the tearful Dennis Momah on Monday and ordered him to serve three years on probation. Momah had pleaded guilty Jan. 29 to the illegal distribution and dispensation of a controlled substance from Brunswick Wellness, a pill mill that was shut down after it was raided in July 2012.

Momah was the first to plead guilty in the case. Last week, Wood sentenced Natalie Anderson, the clinic’s manager, to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the operation of the clinic, from which physicians wrote 21,000 prescriptions in just seven months.

The owner of the clinic, Roland R. Colandrea Jr., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally dispense drugs and faces a sentence of 10 years and a fine up to $500,000.

Momah’s brother, federal Judge Davidson Momah, said he was the sixth of nine siblings from Nigeria. He described his brother as kind and honest but gullible.

“I used to tease him in a jokingly way, ‘You are the poorest doctor I know,’’’ Davidson Momah told Wood.

Other doctors he knew had big houses and fine cars, “but not Dennis,’’ he said.

His brother also didn’t know what he had done to get in trouble, and it fell to him to explain that he had prescribed drugs outside the normal course of medical practice and in violation of federal law, Davidson Momah said.

“His kind and generous spirit conflicts with his behavior,” Momah’s attorney, Brian McEvoy, contended. Momah got his job through an agency and came from Oregon, where he had been fired after he was wrongly accused of a sexual assault his twin brother had committed, McEvoy said.

While he worked at the clinic, Colandrea and patients threatened him because he tried to cut their massive dosages of addictive painkillers, McEvoy said.

Momah left after a month, but he should have left after the first week, McEvoy said.

Although he agreed that Momah had helped in the investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Buerstatte told Wood that Colandrea and Anderson couldn’t have operated the pill mill without Momah and two other prescribing physicians.

“Brunswick Wellness didn’t have doctors acting as doctors. They were drug dealers,’’ Buerstatte said.

Wood gave Momah 45 days to surrender to the federal Bureau of Prisons. That should give prison officials time to decide which facility could treat him for myriad medical issues, including morbid obesity, severe diabetes, sleep apnea and the lingering effects of a stroke.

Two other physicians, Bruce I. Tetalman and Cleveland J. Enmon, are awaiting evaluations before they appear for the disposition of charges against them.

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jimmymac
36468
Points
jimmymac 08/27/13 - 08:48 am
3
1
MOMAH
Unpublished

It sounds like this guy didn't deserve to go to prison. He left after a mo. when he felt something was wrong. The prosecutor in this case felt that he should have quit after a week and that would make it OK? So three more weeks equals three years in prison?

ragingbull
945
Points
ragingbull 08/27/13 - 09:58 am
3
2
Many years ago, I worked with

Many years ago, I worked with a man who had the theory that somewhere there is the world's worst doctor. He was not referring to a doctor like these, but rather a doctor who just barely got through medical school. Dennis Momah fits the description. Could you imagine being treated by someone who has been described as this dumb and gullible? ---"His brother also didn’t know what he had done to get in trouble, and it fell to him to explain that he had prescribed drugs outside the normal course of medical practice" It's hard to believe he even passed the state boards to become a medical doctor!

paperguy
81
Points
paperguy 08/27/13 - 10:15 am
5
2
What do you call

What do you call the student who finishes last in his medical school class?

Doctor.

GiantsAllDay
9353
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/27/13 - 10:24 am
4
0
"which facility could treat

"which facility could treat him for him myriad medical issues including morbid obesity, severe diabetes, sleep apnea and the lingering affects of a stroke."
It going to cost the taxpayer a looooooooooooooooot of money to keep this guy locked up for 3 years. The "war on drugs" has been lucrative for a certain segment of society; just not the one the taxpayer intended.

Darby
24966
Points
Darby 08/27/13 - 11:26 am
5
1
First....

do no harm!

corgimom
30809
Points
corgimom 08/27/13 - 11:38 am
4
3
Davidson Momah described his

Davidson Momah described his brother as kind and honest but gullible...His brother also didn’t know what he had done to get in trouble, and it fell to him to explain that he had prescribed drugs outside the normal course of medical practice and in violation of federal law, Davidson Momah said...Momah got his job through an agency and came all the way from Oregon where he had been fired after he was wrongly accused of a sexual assault his twin brother committed, McEvoy said.

WOW, that is just one UNLUCKY dude!

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 08/27/13 - 12:08 pm
0
0
The office manager gets more
Unpublished

The office manager gets more time than the doctor????

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 08/27/13 - 12:48 pm
3
2
Sometimes....

Sometimes folk will say anything they believe someone else will believe, even things they themselves don't believe....they will say. With all those ailments, it seems that Momah should have been a patient a long time ago instead of a doctor. Those type aillments did not creep up overnight.

my.voice
4702
Points
my.voice 08/27/13 - 01:11 pm
2
2
I thought drug dealers got

I thought drug dealers got longer sentences than this.

corgimom
30809
Points
corgimom 08/27/13 - 04:05 pm
3
2
my.voice, it's called

my.voice, it's called M-O-N-E-Y talks

Young Fred
16596
Points
Young Fred 08/28/13 - 02:49 am
1
1
Pill, Mills

are a blight on our society! You'd be surprised at how many judges, within divorce cases, accept the word of the "prescribed" over all common sense!

After all a "doctor" prescribed it, so it's OK - right?

Most judges not taking the time to inform or educate themselves, they blindly accept - with a smug grin I might add.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 08/28/13 - 05:38 am
1
1
pill mills

Dang I can't get my Doctor to prescribe 800mg ibuprofen. I must have a good doctor.

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