FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami.com) – Thirty-two people in Broward and Palm Beach County were indicted Tuesday in a pill mill take down that targeted four alleged pain management clinics.
According to U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, twin brothers Christopher and Jeffrey George, named in the indictment, operated, managed and financed the clinics named: American Pain, Executive Pain, East Coast Pain, and Hallandale Pain.
The indictment said from 2008 to early 2010, the four clinics distributed approximately 20 million oxycodone pills and turned profits of over $40 million from the illegal sale of controlled substances.
According to the indictment, the defendants hired complicit doctors who agreed to prescribe oxycodone and other controlled substances, like Xanax and/or Soma, without regard to medical necessity. The indictment said by 2010, doctors were examining 500 patients a day at just one clinic.
“These defendants showed a callous disregard for the well-being of their patients and the value of human life,” Ferrer said. “Like all drug traffickers, they focused solely on making money and staying out of jail.”
The arrests included charges of racketeering conspiracy against 18 defendants, money laundering conspiracy against 19 defendants, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances against 19 defendants, maintaining drug-involved premises against nine defendants, and wire and mail fraud conspiracy against 16 defendants.
In addition, Jeff George is also charged with second-degree murder in the overdose death of a patient who visited his clinic.
The operation was a joint effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the DEA, IRS, Broward County Sheriff’s Office and several local police departments.
“Thanks to the efforts of law enforcement and lawmakers, Broward County is losing its dubious distinction as the pill mill capital of the country,” Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said. “Unfortunately, deadly prescription drug abuse continues and local, state, and federal authorities must keep up the fight to combat it.”