TAMPA — Jury selection begins today in the case against Dr. John Nkolo Mubang, accused of prescribing enough addictive narcotics to undercover detectives to meet the legal definition of drug trafficking.
Authorities say the Mubang investigation is the first successful operation of its kind by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the first such case being prosecuted by the State Attorney's Office.
In court documents, undercover detectives described Mubang's patient lobby as a "social event, with everyone involved in conversation about how easy it is to get prescriptions from Dr. Mubang."
Mubang was arrested in July 2008. Officials at University Community Hospital revoked his privileges there upon hearing of the arrest, but he continued his pain clinic work.
Nearly two years later, detectives said they could not stop him from prescribing drugs until he was convicted of a crime.
Opening statements are expected to start Tuesday, and attorneys estimating a verdict could be returned Thursday.
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 310-2081.