Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg doctor accused of trying to smuggle drugs onto plane

TAMPA — An emergency room doctor is facing charges that he tried to smuggle drugs onto a plane headed to Salt Lake City last week, authorities said.

Police at Tampa International Airport arrested Dr. Abbas Edward Sina, 51, of St. Pete Beach on Feb. 4 on charges of heroin possession with intent to sell, trafficking in illegal drugs, possessing a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia.

On that morning, Transportation Security Administration screeners noticed Sina "acting extremely anxious and nervous," according to an incident report.

A search of Sina's carry-on bag revealed a small, white container with various pills, later identified as 37 10-mg doses of methadone and three 2-mg doses of Xanax.

Sina told screeners he was a doctor at Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg, the report said. He told police he took two Vicodin before coming to the airport, and had methadone and other pain pills in his bag that belonged to his wife. "Sina admitted he did not have a prescription for any of the medication found in his bag," a detective wrote in the report.

Officials took Sina into custody and found more drugs and paraphernalia on him: a small bag containing 34 individual packets of heroin in his right front pants pocket and 12 syringes in a pair of snow boots in his checked luggage.

He was booked into a Hillsborough County jail. Records show he was released on a surety bond Monday night.

According to a newspaper wedding announcement, Sina has been a doctor at Palms of Pasadena since at least 1999. Officials there could not be reached for comment Thursday. His medical license is currently clear and active, according to the Florida Department of Health's website.

Sina faced other drug charges eight years ago. Records show Tampa police arrested him on charges of possessing heroin and drug equipment and driving under the influence in February 2003. He was not prosecuted.

In 2006, the state Board of Medicine formally disciplined Sina after ruling he had overprescribed pain pills for a 26-year-old woman with whom he was romantically involved. According to an administrative complaint, the woman sustained a neck injury in 1998. She re-injured her neck in 2004 and was treated by Sina. Over the next several months, the complaint said, he prescribed increasing dosages of OxyContin, a drug noted for its high potential of abuse. He did not, however, physically examine the woman, order diagnostic or lab tests, diagnose a medical condition or keep a medical record to justify his course of treatment, the complaint said.

St. Petersburg doctor accused of trying to smuggle drugs onto plane 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.