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Feds charge 13 FL doctors in pill mill crimes -- and one with murder

Miami Herald, August 24, 2011

For the first time in Florida's war on prescription drug abuse, investigators are pursuing pill mills as organized crime enterprises -- and corrupt doctors as murderers. After a three-year investigation, federal authorities announced the details of Operation Oxy Alley, a sweeping indictment charging 32 people under racketeering statutes for their involvement in South Florida-based pill mills that doled out 20 million oxycodone pills and profited more than $40 million dollars from illegal sales of controlled substances. In a companion indictment, local authorities charged a doctor with first-degree murder in the death of a West Palm Beach man who died within hours of filling a prescription for a painkiller. "As a result of today's takedown, we have dismantled the nation's largest criminal organization that was illegally distributing pain killers and steroids," said FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies. "This is the first time doctors, pharmacies, and a pharmaceutical supplier have been indicted for their involvement. Up until now, efforts focused on the demand by targeting individual users. Today, we attacked the source and choked off the supply."