Titusville pharmacist sentenced for selling opioids without prescriptions, for no medical purpose

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A former Titusville pharmacist was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday after he admitted to selling controlled substances after-hours at his pharmacy, which has since closed.


Channel 9′s Melonie Holt was in federal court Wednesday when 47-year-old Basil Itani apologized for his actions.

Itani told the judge he was addicted to opioids himself, and that he tried to quit unsuccessfully before his arrest. He then apologized, saying he wasn’t a bad person, but he did make a bad decision.

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Itani told the judge his June 20th arrest was one of the worst and best things that could have happened to him after it forced him into getting treatment for his addiction to opiates.

“Addiction is a disease, and pharmacists and doctors are not immune from it,” Attorney Rajan Joshi said after the sentencing. “Mr. Itani had an addiction problem. That’s what led to his poor judgement making.”

Both the Titusville Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted nine buys of controlled substances from the then Itani Family Pharmacy on Garden Street. Investigators say the substances they purchased contained detectable amounts of oxycodone and methadone.

Those purchases from Itani took place through a confidential source.

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Itani pleaded guilty back in September.

During his sentencing Wednesday, Itani issued apologies to prosecutors, the DEA, the Board of Pharmacy, his community, and his family.

“We were hoping for a non-incarcerated sentence, but we are very happy,” attorney Michelle Yard said after the sentencing. “We feel like the judge was very fair and that his guidelines after our objection was ruled on- we were at 24 months- the judge cut that in half and gave him only 12 months.”

Itani was sentenced to twelve months plus one day in federal prison, to be exact. However, he will get credit for two months spent in the Seminole County jail.

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“Mr. Itani took responsibility from the very beginning,” Joshi said. “He has so much support from the community, from his family, as we saw in court here today, and he has a lot of respect for the authorities. He made a mistake and he owned up to it.”

Itani is also prohibited from practicing pharmacy in the future. After he leaves prison, Itani will have to spend two more years on supervision and must enroll in a substance abuse program.

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