FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES 10 ARRESTS IN CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL INTERNET DRUG SALESJul 17, 2005 | www.newsinferno.com
Using licensed “shell” pharmacies to purchase enormous amounts of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical wholesalers, a well organized ring of “Internet pill pushers” would then sell painkillers and other controlled drugs on the Internet without prescriptions.
Authorities stated that the head of the “pill mill” was responsible for filling over $10 million in orders since 2003. The drugs involved included many that are extremely dangerous. One in particular, hydrocodone, a powerful painkiller known as “synthetic heroin,” can be deadly if misused.
Along with the arrests of the 10 people involved in the operation, the law enforcement task force also seized over 650,000 pills. More than $2.2 million in cash and property was forfeited and the Florida Health Department closed down the licensed pharmacies that were involved in the illegal operation.
The group was filling some 2,000 orders each week and the drugs that were seized had a value of about $1.9 million. The sales were made over the Internet without prescriptions and without the slightest regard to medical necessity or safety.
In all, 22 people have been arrested in the course of this investigation known as “Operation Backroom.”