Operation "Pill Street Blues" Targets Doctors, Clinic Owners Across Florida

Friday, June 29, 2012

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Florida law enforcement announced a statewide pill mill bust that spanned several cities in Florida on June 27, 2012. Seven doctors and seven pain clinic owners were arrested. The raid has been dubbed "Operation Pill Street Blues" by the DEA.

To view the DEA's press release concerning the raid, click here.

Charges Against the Doctors and Pain Clinic Owners Include Manslaughter and Trafficking.

The doctors and pain clinic owners are facing a long list of charges. Some of the alleged offenses include: racketeering; conspiracy to commit racketeering; manslaughter; trafficking in a controlled substance; conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance; delivery of a controlled substance; illegally prescribing a controlled substance by a practitioner; illegally prescribing a controlled substance (oxycodone hydrochloride) by a practitioner-trafficking amount; workers compensation fraud; and money laundering.

Investigation Unveiled Ring of Pill Mills Throughout Florida.

The arrests follow a two year investigation led by the DEA in conjunction with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Vero Beach Police Department, and the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. The investigation began in Vero Beach in November 2010 after the DEA received complaints about a pain clinic that was allegedly writing a large amount of narcotics prescriptions.

During the investigation, DEA agents uncovered eight more pain clinics in Miami, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Gainesville and Pensacola that were allegedly involved in the same operation. DEA agents also learned that some of the pain clinics were allegedly owned by two active Pompano Beach firemen.

Pain Clinic Owners Allegedly Studied Other DEA Pill Mill Busts to Avoid Detection.

According to the DEA, the pain clinic owners allegedly researched public records relating to past DEA investigations such as Operation Pill Nation and Operation Oxy Alley. One of the pain clinic owners also allegedly educated others at the clinics on how to successfully report their competition to law enforcement.

Wire Intercepts, Informants, and Undercover Agents Were Used in Pain Clinic Investigations.

The investigation into the pain clinics involved the use of judicial wire intercepts, informants, and under cover visits to the pain clinics. Undercover agents allegedly visited each of the seven doctors charged. The agents were allegedly prescribed approximately 2,732 oxycodone tablets.

Law Enforcement Raids on Physicians, Pharmacists, Nurses and Other Health Providers Will Continue.

According to the DEA, Operation Pill Street Blues is an ongoing investigation. Additional arrests of co-conspirators, including other doctors and health providers, are forthcoming, according to the DEA. If you are a physician, pharmacist, nurse, or other health provider, ensure you are taking measures to protect yourself and your practice.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with DEA Cases.

The Health Law Firm represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH), and other law enforcement agencies.
If you are aware of an investigation of you or your practice, or if you have been contacted by the DEA or DOH, contact an experienced health law attorney immediately.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources Include:

Ro, Mia. "Federal Investigation Takes Down New Breed of Pill Mills in Florida." Drug Enforcement Administration. (June 27, 2012). Press Release. From:

Roberts, John. "DEA, Florida Police Arrest 14 in Pill Mill Bust." Fox News. (June 6, 2012). From

About the Author:  George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Tag words: Orlando DEA defense lawyer, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, pharmacy, doctor, physician, nurse, controlled substances, pharmacies, pharmacists, DEA raid, DEA investigation, emergency suspension order, ESO, DEA emergency suspension, overprescribing, pain clinics, pain management, Florida prescription drug crackdown, Florida prescription drug abuse, Pill Street Blues, prescription drug trafficking



Response to: Operation "Pill Street Blues" Targets Doctors, Clinic Owners Across Florida
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Alex G. Gomez says:

This is a tragedy that even after the state put laws in place for the ones who try to help those who really need medication as myself who have been receiving my medication for about 15 yrs after 3 hip surgeries and having multitudes of health problems that cause me chronic pain on a daily basis, I agree on what the state has done by coming down on clinics who insist on making a quick bucks like the clinics they targeted in 2010 or the ones who try to still prescribe medication out of there office. These are the clinics who have made it harder for me to get what I need to function on a everyday basis. But since the Gov. Has come down so hard instead of regulate the business with the data base and other laws that were passed, that hasn't been good enough they could careless that people are suffering with chronic pain and with the fact that pharmacies will not fill prescribe medication for pain with insurance they go ahead and charge 9-14 dollar a pill not that's illegal in every which

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