Hamilton doctor sentenced to 20 years for dealing opioids

A Hamilton physician who was convicted at trial of illegally dealing opioids sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett sentenced Dr. Saad Sakkal, for illegally distributing and dispensing controlled substances to multiple patients, including drugs that led to the death of one victim in 2016. Sakkal was practicing at Lindenwald Medical Association, Inc. in Hamilton.

In April 2019, a jury convicted Sakkal of 30 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of a medical practice and with no legitimate medical purpose, and six counts of use of a registration number that was issued to someone else.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence gathered by investigators that Sakkal performed inadequate physical exams to identify and verify patient’s complaints of pain, and that he issued prescription combinations that were particularly dangerous and addictive.

Pharmacists testified that they warned Sakkal of the risks and eventually refused to fill prescriptions issued by Sakkal. Investigators also testified that Sakkal received repeated notice of addiction, overdoses and deaths, but continued his practices.

“Sakkal issued deadly drug cocktails without regard for the repeated warnings he received from employees, patients, pharmacists, another doctor, and the electronic records system,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers. “This doctor dealer even ignored overdoses by his patients. Instead of helping his patients, he caused more harm, and as a result, he earned spending the next few decades in federal prison.”

A federal grand jury indicted Sakkal in June 2018. Agents arrested him in Florida after he was indicted. He has been held without bond in the Butler County Jail since his arrest.

About the Author