A 46-year-old Tallahassee doctor was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday for his involvement in a prescription pill trafficking operation.
The man was also ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and investigative and prosecutorial costs.
According to the Florida Office of the Attorney General, the illegal operation was to blame for disbursing large quantities of prescription drugs throughout western Florida.
The physician apparently pled guilty to conspiring to traffic in 28 grams or more of oxycodone in October 2011. He was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
The Osceola County Investigative Bureau, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the Sarasota Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement claim they began investigating the doctor in 2010. Their alleged investigation revealed the doctor was selling prescriptions for large amounts of oxycodone to a group of associates who would fill the prescriptions and then disburse the pills on the streets of Sarasota.
One of the doctor’s co-defendants was sentenced to 25 years in state prison for his role in the operation and another co-defendant is awaiting sentencing.
Drug trafficking in the State of Florida describes the sale, delivery, possession or manufacturing of illegal drugs and controlled substances over a certain weight or amount. The consequences associated with a drug trafficking charge can vary from a minimum of three years to a maximum of a life sentence in prison, depending on the type of drug and the quantity. Sentences are established by the weight value of the total pills in question. At minimum, a trafficking charge of oxycodone is a three year mandatory prison sentence with a fine of $50,000 and a maximum of 25 years in prison plus a fine of $500,000.
In many drug trafficking cases in Florida, the State will seek conspiracy charges to be filed in addition to trafficking charges in order to obtain convictions not only for trafficking pills, but an agreement to traffic drugs. The conspiracy to traffic drugs can be difficult to understand because most drug charges require for the prosecution to prove that the accused was in possession of the drugs in question at some point. However, a conspiracy to traffic drugs charge can be proven solely by establishing that an agreement existed to carry out a drug-related criminal act. In fact, the act does not have to even be completed to be convicted of conspiracy.
The Florida Prescription Drug Trafficking Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly review the facts of your case and explore all possible defenses to combat the charges against you. We will review any evidence and police reports to consider the following:
• Did law enforcement play a role in initiating your participation in the conspiracy?
• Did the conspiracy solely entail verbal agreements, or were there acts in furtherance of the conspiracy?
• Was the agreement terminated or dismissed before an arrest was made?
• Were wiretaps involved, and if so were they legal?
• Was the warrant obtained legal?
If you are accused of drug trafficking or conspiring to traffic drugs anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Prescription Drug Trafficking Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).