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"Pill Mill" Owner-Operators Arrested in South FL
Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Media Release: Update

In regards to the three individuals sought in connection to cases/charges in Clay County, Florida, the following is updated information provided today by CCSO Lt. Barry Abramowitz. Abramowitz is on scene now in Palm Beach County working in conjunction with local authorities. Clay County personnel focused their efforts today on the following three suspects:
1) Mr. Richard McMillan (co-owner/operator of Total Medical Express of Orange Park) was taken into custody today on a Clay County warrant. He has been booked at the Palm Beach County Jail on a charge of Operating an Unregistered Pain Clinic. He is a Palm Beach County resident with connections to the pain clinic (pill mill) in Orange Park, FL.
2) Mr. Pasquale Gervasio (co-owner/operator of Total Medical Express of Orange Park) was taken into custody today on a Clay County warrant. He has been booked at the Broward County Jail on a charge of Operating an Unregistered Pain Clinic. He is a Broward County resident with connections to the pain clinic (pill mill) in Orange Park, FL.
3) Dr. Arnold Aaron remains at large; there is an active warrant for his arrest on the charge of Operating an Unregistered Pain Clinic. He is a Palm Beach County resident with connections to the pain clinic (pill mill) in Orange Park, FL.
The warrant on each of these three suspects includes a $250,000 bond.

OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY

FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY

MICHAEL F. McAULIFFE
STATE ATTORNEY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
announce the arrests and filing of criminal charges and the execution of search warrants
at pain clinics, residences and an office building in OPERATION “BLUE SPOON” for alleged activities involving the transfer and sale of adulterated prescription drugs.

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw announce on June 8, 2011, the filing of criminal charges against 3 individuals, including a physician and a pharmacist, for Trafficking in Contraband Prescription Drugs, Purchase or Receipt of Prescription Drug From Unauthorized person, Failure to Maintain or Deliver Pedigree Papers, Possession with Intent to Sell Contraband Prescription Drugs and Sale or Transfer of Prescription Drug to Unauthorized Person. At the present time, 2 of these individuals, including the pharmacist, were arrested. The arrests follow a complex multi-agency investigation named OPERATION “BLUE SPOON” involving the transfer and sale of adulterated prescription drugs. In addition to the arrests and charging, authorities executed numerous search warrants in Palm Beach and Broward counties. The locations include pain clinics, residences and an office building.

OPERATION “BLUE SPOON” is an extensive investigation into alleged criminal activities at two pain clinics in Palm Beach County which are purported to be “Pill Mills”. The pain management clinics are identified as Total Medical Express in Palm Springs and Total Medical Express in Boca Raton. The same group of owners/operators is connected to at least four other pain management clinics in the state. Law enforcement served search warrants at 7 locations throughout Palm Beach and Broward Counties looking for documentation and proceeds from the operation of allegedly illegal pain clinics as well as information related to the alleged improper prescribing of prescription drugs and trafficking in Oxycodone.

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe stated: “Today’s coordinated enforcement activities reflect the continuing fight to identify, investigate and punish individuals who profit from the illicit use and distribution of prescription drugs. Our enforcement efforts will continue until these activities stop and the community is free from this threat.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated “The DEA’s Miami Field Division continues to work with its Federal, State, and Local partners to keep the full court press on individuals involved in rogue pain clinics.”

Clay County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Barry Abramowitz, who traveled to Palm Beach County to be present for the arrest of 3 other subjects, stated: “We believe these 3 men are responsible for the illegal operation of the Orange Park Medical Express facility in Clay County, a suspected pill mill. We worked with Palm Beach County Drug Diversion Task Force members to achieve these arrests and to demonstrate how serious law enforcement is state-wide about disrupting illicit and illegal pill mill operations.”

The Informations charge the Palm Beach County defendants as follows:

ADELARD LEFRANCOIS (Office Manager) – 1 count of Trafficking in Contraband Prescription Drugs Trafficking in Contraband Prescription Drugs 499.0051 7 (1 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 30 Years Prison; Purchase or Receipt of Prescription Drug From Unauthorized Person 499.0051 4 (2 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years Prison; Failure to Maintain or Deliver Pedigree Papers 499.0051 1 (3 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years Prison; and Possession with Intent to Sell Contraband Prescription Drugs 499.0051 6 (2 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence 15 Years Prison TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 65 YEARS IN PRISON

MARK W. DONEGAN (Pharmacist) – 1 count of Trafficking in Contraband Prescription Drugs Trafficking in Contraband Prescription Drugs 499.0051 7 (1 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 30 Years Prison; Purchase or Receipt of Prescription Drug From Unauthorized Person 499.0051 4 (2 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years Prison; Failure to Maintain or Deliver Pedigree Papers 499.0051 1 (3 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years Prison; and Possession with Intent to Sell Contraband Prescription Drugs 499.0051 6 (2 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence 15 Years Prison TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 65 YEARS IN PRISON

DR. SHERRY PINSLEY (Physician) – 1 count of Sale or Transfer of Prescription Drug to Unauthorized Person 499.0051 5 (2 F) – Maximum Allowable Sentence 15 Years Prison TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 15 YEARS IN PRISON

The probable cause affidavits state and allege that in the fall of 2010, the Department of Health, in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force, discovered multiple prescription and pharmacy violations at the Country Value Pharmacy in Boca Raton. These violations related to invoices, pedigree and transfers of prescription drugs. The Country Value Pharmacy was found to be in possession controlled/non-controlled pills that had been transferred to the pharmacy from Dr. Sherri W. Pinsley without the required documentation to show legal ownership.

The case is assigned to Assistant State Attorney Uriel Neto of the COMBAT Unit of the State Attorney’s Office. The COMBAT Unit is supervised by Deputy Felony Chief Cheryl Caracuzzo. This investigation is a product of a joint effort by the Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force which is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that fight illegally sold prescription pills and other unlicensed medical activities. The Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force includes representatives from Boca Raton Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Delray Beach Police Department, Florida Department of Health, Greenacres Police Department, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, Jupiter Police Department, Riviera Beach Police Department, Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office (SAO), Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and West Palm Beach Police Department.

In addition, this matter was investigated by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office Money Laundering Task Force, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Margate Police Department. The investigation is ongoing.

FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Alsofrom, Public Information Officer, 561-355-7249

 

 

 
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