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Tampa doctor accused of distributing controlled substances without need

TAMPA — Chuma Osuji worked in a gas station after he arrived from Nigeria at 20. When he got sick, he couldn't afford a prescription.

He became a doctor and, as a hobby in 2002, started African Ambassadors, a charity for people without health insurance.

But now he's in danger of losing his medical license over alleged violations of drug laws.

An indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court accuses Osuji, 51, of distributing controlled substances without legitimate medical need.

The government says he dispensed hydrocodone, acetaminophen with codeine, amphetamine salts and Ritalin outside the scope of his practice.

Calls to his home and office were not returned.

A website for his DoCare Walk-In Clinic at 3317 W Gandy Blvd. in Tampa states that he completed undergraduate work at the University of South Florida and earned his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He enlisted in the Air Force and practiced at MacDill Air Force Base until 2003.

His charity work was the focus of a Tampa Bay Times story that year. He had arranged for 10 doctors and nurses to donate some of their time to patients in need.

"There should not be any reason why, where we have the best doctors in the world … people cannot be taken care of," he said at the time.

If he is found guilty, the government intends to seek forfeiture of his Florida medical license and Drug Enforcement Administration registration.

Court records do not describe the quantity of drugs in question or state the circumstances of the alleged activity.

Contact Patty Ryan at pryan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3382.

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