MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami doctor is facing serious charges in the overdose death of a Florida Keys woman.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says Dr. Marta Elena Farinas, 48, faces manslaughter charges in the death of 35-year-old Leigh Anne Milazzo.
Police said Farinas was arrested Tuesday following a year-long investigation into Milazzo’s opioid overdose death on March 13 of 2018.
Farinas was also charged with conspiracy to traffic Oxycodone and delivery of Oxycodone.
Investigators said deputies found large amounts of prescription bottles and pills at Milazzo’s home, including “evidence that Farinas was prescribing 180 Oxycodone pills a month to Milazzo on top of a litany of other prescription drugs.”
Here is what detectives said led to the arrest of Farinas:
“Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit Detectives acquired a cell phone belonging to Milazzo that contained text messages between Milazzo and Dr. Farinas, in which they both describe sharing the pills prescribed by Dr. Farinas and meeting at various locations to exchange pills. According our investigation, Dr. Farinas coordinated with Milazzo with intent of trafficking the pills.”
“The investigation showed that after Dr. Farinas prescribed a large number of pills to her patients, including Milazzo, she would then ask them to give her a portion of those prescribed pills to satisfy her own addiction. The investigation showed that the prescriptions issued by Dr. Farinas were outside the usual scope of professional medicine and were without a legitimate medical purpose.”
Drug Enforcement Agency agents took Farinas into custody at her Palmetto Bay clinic, Pinecrest Medical Group, in the 15700 block of South Dixie Highway.
She was transported to the main Miami-Dade County jail on a $100,000 bail.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said this about the case:
“This was a sad case that law enforcement officers are becoming all too familiar with.”
“The opioid crisis affects every corner of this country and unfortunately that includes the Florida Keys. I want to thank the outstanding work done by our Major Crimes Unit as well as our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in this case. This case was a great example of how powerful those partnerships are and how successful they can be. I hope we are sending a loud and clear message to those who abuse their power or privilege, be it in the health care industry or elsewhere, that the Sheriff’s Office and its partners will aggressively investigate anyone who illegally traffics these dangerous drugs.”