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Posts Tagged ‘Oxycodone’

Doctor Arrested for Illegal Prescriptions

Written by Criminal Defense Lawyer. Posted in Criminal Defense News, Federal Crimes Blog

Doctor, clinic owner accused of running pill mill

A doctor, a clinic owner and a clinic employee were arrested today for illegally selling prescriptions of oxycodone and Xanax, totaling more than 35,000 pills, the Tampa Police Department said.

Paul Awa, a former doctor at JW Wellness, 233 W. Waters Ave., Tampa, clinic owner and manager Wade Leath, 37, of Tampa, and employee Evette Cabado, 20, of Tampa, were all arrested today, police said.

All three have been charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance, police said.

Earlier this year, police received complaints from citizens about the clinic. Police sent undercover officers and informants to the business and performed surveillance.

In August, investigators executed a search warrant and seized the records of 79 patients. Investigators learned that the clinic had fraudulently written prescriptions, issuing 31,000 oxycodone pills and 6,000 Xanax pills, said Tampa police Assistant Chief Marc Hamlin.

"The doctors were prescribing these pills outside the scope of professional practice and also outside the scope of the medical standard of care," Hamlin said.

The clinic was accepting fraudulent MRI's and fraudulent prescription histories from customers, Hamlin said.

Drug traffickers would also sponsor "fake patients" to go into the clinic to obtain pills, Hamlin said.

"We're equating this oxycodone issue to crack in the 80s," Hamlin said. "It's taking lives and destroying families at a scary rate."

After police executed the search warrant at JW Wellness in August, Awa, 59, of Oldsmar, went to work at Main Street Medical in Thonotosassa. He was arrested Wednesday at the clinic and investigators executed a search warrant on Main Street Medical.

Police also arrested three Bradenton men they said recruited patients to illegally buy pills at JW Wellness. Edward Smith, 35, Trevor Mercer, 29, and Jeremy Paul, 34, were charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

Jason Bliebtrey, a co-owner of JW Wellness, was also charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance. Bliebtrey, 31, is currently serving 18 months at the Suwannee Correctional Institute in Live Oak after being found guilty earlier this year of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.


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Florida News Pain Pills Seized from Pain Clinics, Oxycodone Taken

Written by Criminal Defense Lawyer. Posted in DUI News

oxycodoneAuthorities swept pain clinics in four counties Tuesday, seizing thousands of pills from doctors who are no longer authorized to dispense them.

The Florida Department of Health, Regional Drug Enforcement Strike Force and Florida Department of Law Enforcement fanned out to 24 locations, including three in Palm Beach County, and took away pain drugs such as oxycodone from doctors who, under a new state law that went into effect last week, no longer can hand them out.

Under the new law, clinic doctors can only write prescriptions for pain drugs, which now must be filled at pharmacies. Any pills in their possession must be returned to distributors or given to the state to be destroyed. For the past month, the health department has been notifying doctors not authorized to dispense pain pills to dispose of them.

“We certainly have a lot of the practitioners’ attention,” Sunrise Police Department Chief John Brooks said at a media conference Tuesday afternoon announcing the sweep.

The strike forces seized about 9,500 pills from a clinic at 3385 Burns Rd., in Palm Beach Gardens, about 7,800 from a clinic at 3251 N. Federal Highway, in Boca Raton, and about 4,800 from a clinic at 1403 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., in Boynton Beach.

The strike force also targeted clinics in Miami Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. In all, about 40,000 pills were seized.

No arrests were made and none of the clinics were shut down, officials said.

“It’s a new day, a new chapter in this fight,” Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Coleman said. “We’ll keep going.”

The Florida Department of Health called on the law enforcement agencies to target clinics and doctors that ordered at least 2,000 pain pills a month this year or have suspicious histories.

Coleman said doctors can charge patients about $275 for each appointment at which pain pills are prescribed, adding up to about $50,000 a week.

“You can make a handsome living,” Coleman said.

The law also authorized a prescription drug-monitoring database that Gov. Rick Scott initially opposed as a waste of money and an invasion of privacy.

About one person dies every 27 hours from an accidental overdose of prescription pain killers, Coleman said.