Vincent Colangelo earned a mind-blowing $150,000 per day from his 7 pain clinics, according to federal investigators.
He used that money from his alleged drug trafficking business to buy cars. Lots of them.
Investigators nearly filled a parking lot at DEA headquarters in Weston with Dodge Vipers, a Rolls Royce, Fort Mustangs, Lamborghinis, a Mercedes McLaren, even a race car. Cars fueled by the Oxy Express — that’s the nickname for the route drug traffickers drive to South Florida to get loads of prescription drugs for sale on the streets.
The lavish display of wealth had law enforcement agents and even a few media types drooling over the hot rides.
But according to the feds, Colangelo’s days of dealing hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills — many of which ended up being sold on the black market — are over.
And the feds promise Wednesday’s crackdown is only the beginning.
A task force of federal, state and local law enforcement has been working on busting pill mills in South Florida for two years.
They say in that time they have closed 22 pain clinics, seized millions of dollars and millions of prescription drugs.
They also have shut down several wholesale distributors.
The bottom line — according to investigators — there are doctors and pain clinic owners willing to prescribe dangerous prescription drugs that are not needed in exchange for profit.There are estimates that 7 Floridians die each day from prescription drug abuse.
“When people come to Florida to buy these prescription painkillers, when there’s no medical necessity, the results are the same — death,” said United States Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer.
In fact, at Colangelo’s clinic, the feds say it was a cash only business. No credit cards, no checks, no insurance. And if you wanted faster service, you could pay a higher fee.
The sad truth — according to investigators — doctors in Florida prescribe ten times more oxycodone pills than all other states combined.