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Pain clinic operators sentenced to 30 years in prison

A Florida judge ordered three people to serve at least 25 years out of 30-year prison sentences for operating a pain clinic in Tampa that dispensed controlled dangerous substances. According to the judge, the 4.5-month trial that was completed in March was the longest criminal trial that had ever taken place in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. Before they were handed the drug charges, the accused individuals had apparently been the subjects of an investigation since 2009.

During the investigation, Tampa police found that First Medical Group wrote prescriptions for oxycodone and other prescription drugs to anyone who walked in the door. In total, 2.3 million prescriptions for oxycodone were handed out. Patients would apparently travel to the clinic from other states, including Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Despite the clinic's license to dispense drugs, the judge called the clinic an organized criminal enterprise.

According to reports, defense attorneys for the individuals who were convicted have promised that the case will be appealed. An office manager at the clinic received the same sentence as the owner and his wife has argued that she knew nothing about the medications that were prescribed at the clinic, and she had no part in making clinical decisions.

At times, a person who has no knowledge of a criminal scheme going on around them can end up being falsely charged. A criminal defense attorney might help a defendant in this situation to establish that they did not knowingly commit any drug offenses. If a person has already lost at trial, they may wish to appeal the court's decision.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "For managing a Tampa pain clinic run amok, they get 30 years in prison", Keith Morelli , September 19, 2014

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