Shaneeva Yassin, Web Journalist & Producer
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4)- The constant stream of patients going in and out of a pain management clinic is making residents nervous in an upscale Fort Lauderdale neighborhood.READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
Residents said that the Intracoastal Medical Group, a pain management clinic, is seeing patients frequently and they suspect it’s a pill mill. Todd Campbell runs a business next door. He said there’s a lot of traffic in the area.
“They act as if they’re a regular pain clinic, but it seems to me as if the people are frequenting more and more often,” he said. “You see out of state license plates. You see the same people on occasion. We do have an overflow of traffic.”
The clinic is sandwiched between high rise waterfront condos and the Galleria Mall.
“Its open until 8 at night,” resident Maureen O’Connell said. “I used to feel safe walking in the neighborhood. I used to take the street right here but now I walk down another block.”
Residents said they’ve noticed an uptick in traffic since late February when the feds raided 40 pain clinics and arrested doctors and the owners of alleged pill mills dispensing thousands of pain pills.READ MORE: Florida Judge Set to Decide On School Mask Rule
Fort Lauderdale police said they’ve reported to the Intracoastal Medical Group 18 times in the past 16 months. Half of those calls were alarms, two were medical calls, two were suspicious incidents, one was regarding disorderly conduct and four police assists.
CBS4’s Joan Murray attempted to enter the clinic, but the clinic manager denied they are a pill mill.
“We’re not dispensing medication,” manager Geo Hernandez said. “We do not have an in house pharmacy. Doctors see patients. That’s it.”
Hernandez showed Murray a large scar on his chest telling her that he understands why some people need pain management.
“Patients come here with fusions in their neck…fusions in their back,” he said. “Some people can’t bend over. Some people don’t follow the rules. Look, it’s been proven. Look at the people that have been arrested and what they went to jail for…money laundering, you know, things that they should not have been doing. It has painted a very bad picture.”MORE NEWS: Rod Stewart's Plea Deal On Battery Charge Falls Through
Residents are planning a protest in front of this clinic on Friday. The manager said he’s aware and people are entitled to express their opinion.