BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The U.S. Attorneys office this afternoon is making official what had been reported in bits and pieces late last week. Several defendants from Palm Beach County and Broward County have been sentenced to significant time behind bars following convictions for their roles in “pill mills,” pain clinics that distributed pills indiscriminately.
Here is the official media release from Wilfredo Ferrer:
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the sentencing of eight defendants in connection with charges stemming from Operation Oxy Alley, a coordinated investigation into pill mills in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The eight defendants sentenced to date were charged with 24 other defendants in an indictment unsealed on August 23, 2010. The indictment alleged that defendants Christopher and Jeffrey George, twin brothers, operated, managed, and financed four pain management clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. According to the indictment and statements made in court, from 2008 to early 2010, these pill mills distributed approximately 20 million oxycodone pills and made more than $40 million from the illegal sales of controlled substances. Thirteen of the 32 defendants were doctors.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced four defendants, all of whom had previously pled guilty in Oct. 2011 to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Theodore Obermeyer, 30, of West Palm Beach, was sentenced to 144 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Pedro Martinez, 35, of Royal Palm Beach, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Vernon Atreidis, M.D., 46, of Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to 66 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Jack Martin, 48, of North Palm Beach, was sentenced to nine months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Previously, on December 16, 2011, Judge Marra sentenced four other defendants. Andrew Harrington, 31, of Deerfield Beach, was sentenced to 97 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Harrington pled guilty on October 3, 2011 to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Daryl Michael Stewart, 44, of West Palm Beach, was sentenced to 135 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Stewart pled guilty on September 29, 2011 to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Derik Nolan, 34, of Wellington, was sentenced to 168 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Nolan pled guilty on October 5, 2011 to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Matthew Siss, 25, of Jupiter, was sentenced to nine months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Siss pled guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy on October 6, 2011.
At present, 28 of the 32 defendants named in the indictment have pleaded guilty, including clinic owners Christopher and Jeffrey George. The sentencing hearings are scheduled to continue throughout January and February 2012.
The investigation and prosecution was the result of work by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. FBI, DEA, IRS-CID were assisted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Hollywood Police Department, the Boca Raton Police Department, and the Davie Police Department. Coordination efforts also included cooperation by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office as well as contributions by the Delray Beach Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, Medley Police Department, Homestead Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, and Sunny Isles Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul F. Schwartz, Lawrence D. LaVecchio and Strider Dickson