A Ugandan Doctor based in Toronto Canada has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for trafficking a powerful drug known as Fentanyl, which ended up on Canadian streets.
Dr George Otto, 61, was one of seven people that were in 2016 charged after Canadian Police dismantled an alleged fentanyl trafficking ring.
Dr. George Otto, who has been operating a family run pharmacy was found by police to have been prescribing fentanyl to alleged drug traffickers.
Justice Joseph De Luca of the Superior Court of Justice in his ruling said while Dr Otto had not previous criminal record, he was this time found deeply involved in the sale of illegal drugs that cause much harm.
“I start this difficult task by acknowledging the tragic irony that pervades this case,” wrote the judge in his ruling.
“A doctor sworn by oath to help save lives, participated in a scheme that ultimately put many lives at risk. This tragic irony is made all the more acute when one considers that greed is the only apparent motive.”
He added, “For reasons that are hard to fathom, Dr Otto sacrificed his profession as personal existence to make easy money. Dr Otto’s fall from grace is in a word, staggering.”
Dr Otto was sentenced on four charges, including two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, one count of trafficking and one of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
A rising number of deaths have been attributed to the illicit use of fentanyl,a highly potent synthetic painkiller.
The drug is said to be more than 100 times stronger than morphine, and when used incorrectly can easily lead to an overdose.
Police investigating the crime found that Dr Otto was being paid money by his co-accused, Shereen All Azarak to wrote phony prescriptions for the drug.
The police found that between March 2015 to January 2016, Otto issued more than 6000 Fentanyl prescriptions of which 3800 came from the pharmacy taking part in the trafficking ring.
Otto was sentenced to 12 years while El Azarak the pharmacy owner got 13 years.