The Florida Times-Union is reporting that federal authorities in Jacksonville are making arrests in connection with an alleged pill mill operation that brought in millions of dollars illegally.
So-called Jacksonville pill mills and others throughout the state have garnered attention from police and prosecutors in recent years as drug investigators have gone away from looking at street-level hardcore heroin and cocaine drugs and begun focusing on painkiller drugs that can be equally harmful if abused.This has led to many arrests of professionals, such as doctors, pharmacists and others involved in the medical industry. But unlike simple buyers and sellers, these new wave of drug crime defendants are being charged with massive fraud and racketeering scams.
Facing these additional charges take the case to a whole new level; an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers can help clients facing significant sanctions and prison time.
So far, the newspaper reports, five Jacksonville doctors, a pain clinic owner and seven employees were arrested after federal authorities unveiled in an indictment recently. The indictment alleges the conspirators profited off patients who bought painkillers from them.
These scheme allegedly operated on the basis of selling painkillers to patients in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, where the people would return with many pills that they would sell for profit there. All are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics not for legitimate medical purposes and others are charged with money laundering.
An indictment is simply a document that states the charges a person will face after a grand jury — not the jury a person will get at trial — listened to prosecutors make their case without the benefit of a defense for the suspects.
Money laundering is a serious charge that essentially means that the people charged were making money and hiding it in order to evade authorities who may be looking into their business’ finances. Along with selling prescription drugs to people who didn’t need them, money laundering is a serious white collar offense.
But these charges are often more serious than press releases and indictments make them out to be. When more than a dozen people are alleged to have participated in an illegal operation, prosecutors must be able to prove that all knew that what they were doing was illegal and that they all had knowledge of the larger scheme.
Many times in cases like this, there are peripheral “co-conspirators” who were simply doing what their bosses told them to do without the knowledge that this was part of a bigger money-making scheme. Prosecutors will try to overlook those facts and cast as wide a net as possible. In doing so, weak cases may be pushed as part of the public relations campaign put on for the media. Following coverage of raids and arrests, the media is nowhere to be found when defense attorneys are successful in having charges reduced or dismissed because of a lack of evidence or other weakness in the state’s case.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Guns, Drugs Seized at Duval County Courthouse: August 28, 2011
Arrests of Jacksonville doctors, others under way in pill mill scheme, by Jim Schoettler, The Florida Times-Union