Dearborn doctor pleads guilty to unnecessarily prescribing pain meds; agrees to forfeit $37K

A Dearborn doctor pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances after authorities say he wrote prescriptions for drugs that were not needed.

Authorities said Dr. Tete Oniango, 47, admitted to prescribing 12,500 dosage units of hydrocodone. The allegations that Oniango was unnecessarily prescribing drugs came out in 2017.

"Hydrocodone is extremely addictive and can lead to addiction and eventual heroin use. Michigan has seen a devastating number of opioid drug overdoses in the last five years. My office remains committed to pursuing medical providers who abuse their roles as caregivers and inflict harm upon our community," said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison.

Oniango also agreed to forfeit about $37,000 that was seized from his office. 

"Physicians who provide prescription drugs without a legitimate medical purpose are contributing to the drug epidemic in our community. The message should be clear, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to focus our efforts on any doctor or healthcare professional who prioritizes profit over patient health and safety," said Special Agent in Charge Tarasca.

Oniango will be sentenced on Aug. 22.