Baltimore man convicted of selling large quantities of prescription drugs out of medical facility

Liz Bowie
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

A 32-year-old Baltimore man is facing decades in prison after being convicted this week on a multiple counts of unlawfully distributing and conspiring to distribute drugs, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

Tormarco Harris and eight co-conspirators illegally provided large quantities of addictive prescription drugs in exchange for money to patients, state officials said in a statement.

Prosecutors said that for about two years beginning in June 2015, Harris and Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor operated Starlife Wellness Center in Glen Burnie as a “pill mill,” where patients received unlawful prescriptions for narcotics including oxycodone, morphine, tramadol, and benzodiazepine.

Harris was convicted in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court by Judge Michael Wachs of violating the drug kingpin statute, which is used in cases when a defendant has allegedly organized or managed the sale of a large quantity of drugs.

The conviction on that charge alone carries a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence that cannot be suspended. Officials said Harris also faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment on each of several conspiracy and distribution charges. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

State officials said patients paid as much as $500 for illegal prescriptions and that others working at Starlife were pressured to change prescriptions to higher quantities.

Shaw-Taylor previously pleaded guilty to a 5-year prison sentence based on his role at Starlife and another facility that prosecutors said he operated in Baltimore called Westside Medical Group.

All of Harris’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, officials said.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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