tagged w/ Broward County
Policeabuse.com exposes scandal and corruption with the Hollywood Police Department... Again!
Check out Policeabuse.com for more information on the Hollywood Police(FL) DepartmentPoliceabuse.com exposes scandal and corruption with the Hollywood Police Department...... more
In this scene from Vanguard's award-winning documentary "The OxyContin Express," correspondent Mariana van Zeller goes undercover at a pain management clinic in Florida to learn more about how readily available narcotic prescriptions can be obtained.
"The OxyContin Express" features intimate access with pill addicts, prisoners and law enforcement as each struggles with a lethal national epidemic.
"Vanguard," airing weekly on Current TV Wednesdays at 10/9c, is a no-limits documentary series whose award-winning correspondents put themselves in extraordinary situations to immerse viewers in global issues that have a large social significance. Unlike sound-bite driven reporting, the show's correspondents, Adam Yamaguchi, Kaj Larsen, Christof Putzel and Mariana van Zeller, serve as trusted guides who take viewers on in-depth real life adventures in pursuit of some of the world's most important stories.
For more, go to http://current.com/vanguard.In this scene from Vanguard's award-winning documentary "The OxyContin... more
This time last year, we were deep into production on "The OxyContin Express," the Vanguard documentary about prescription drug abuse and the pain clinics in South Florida that have become the source of a black market trade in pills.
While reporting, we came across one pain clinic whose reputation surpassed all others. Law enforcement in Kentucky and West Virginia had drawers full of seized pill bottles with its name and address. Prisoners and addicts from Florida to Appalachia spoke of the ease with which this clinic handed out large doses of Oxycodone and Xanax.
It was this reputation that led us to try and film the Palm Beach clinic, American Pain. If you’ve seen the piece, you know that led us to be chased by goons in luxury cars down I-95.
Long story short: Everyone knew about this place. Everyone, it turns out, including the DEA.
Last month, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, along with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, raided three pain clinics in Florida, including the clinic we were chased away from.
The Feds are working on a case against the clinic’s owners, twin brothers who the Miami Herald earlier reported have criminal records and no medical training.
Here are a few highlights from the civil forfeiture complaint that spells out the evidence prosecutors have gathered thus far:
A doctor at American Pain told an undercover agent how that clinic alone saw around 250 people/day from South Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky.
American Pain obtained over 2 million pills of Oxycontin in 2009.This figure does not include Oxycodone prescriptions written by American Pain doctors but filled elsewhere.
The average salary for the five doctors working at American Pain in 2009 was more than $1 million per year. Evidence points to the fact that they get paid according to how many patients they see. The more patients, the more money.
More than $14 million in cash deposits were made into American Pain bank accounts in 2009.
Of the top 20 doctor purchasers of oxy in the country, five worked at American Pain in 2009.
One of the brothers/owners reportedly piled up about $40 million in assets.
Here’s how the Florida daily, The Sun Sentinel, led their story about the investigation:
Chris and Jeff George drove flashy cars, amassed property and made multimillion-dollar deals, radiating wealth and success while clients of their pain clinics got high and, in some cases, died, federal prosecutors allege in documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Supporting the twin brothers' lavish lifestyle was a stream of dirty cash from drug traffickers who routed painkillers to Kentucky, Ohio and South Carolina, prosecutors allege.
While reporting "The OxyContin Express," Sgt. Richard Pisanti of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department compared the situation in South Florida to the Miami Vice days. "In the '80s and '90s cocaine was a big thing," he told us. "Now prescriptions have just exploded."
The difference is that in the '80s it was some Colombian drug lord supplying the goods. Today it’s doctor's offices that exploit loopholes in Florida's laws to maintain a thin veneer of legitimacy. Loopholes, it appears now, that are wide enough for a drug kingpin to amass a $40 million fortune.
As Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo told us, "Pablo Escobar couldn't have had it any better."
But as it eventually did for Pablo, time might be running out for Florida's pill mills. The statistics speak for themselves. American Pain’s owners have yet to be charged, and they’ve reportedly hired a high profile defense attorney.
Even a conviction wouldn’t end illegal oxy dealing—but shutting down American Pain will almost certainly put a big dent in the number of pills handed out in Florida.
Watch "The OxyContin Express" after the jump below.
This time last year, we were deep into production on "The OxyContin... more
In this Peabody Award-winning edition of Vanguard, correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to South Florida--the "Colombia of prescription drugs"--to expose a bustling pill pipeline that stretches from the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale to the rolling hills of Appalachia. "The OxyContin Express" features intimate access with pill addicts, prisoners and law enforcement as each struggles with a lethal national epidemic.In this Peabody Award-winning edition of Vanguard, correspondent Mariana van Zeller... more
In this Peabody Award-winning edition of Vanguard, correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to South Florida--the "Colombia of prescription drugs"--to expose a bustling pill pipeline that stretches from the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale to the rolling hills of Appalachia. "The OxyContin Express" features intimate access with pill addicts, prisoners and law enforcement as each struggles with a lethal national epidemic.
***Vanguard is Current TV's original documentary series. Led by correspondents Laura Ling, Mariana van Zeller, Christof Putzel, Adam Yamaguchi and Kaj Larsen, Vanguard features enterprising reports from around the globe. It airs every Wednesday at 10pm on Current TV. And you can view all Vanguard stories by visiting current.com/vanguard.***
In the U.S.
Comcast Nationwide 107
Dish Network 196
Time Warner: NY 103
Time Warner: LA 142
Time Warner: Other Cities: check local listings
AT&T U-verse Nationwide 189
Verizon FIOS 130
In the U.K.
Virgin Media 155
Sky Italia 130In this Peabody Award-winning edition of Vanguard, correspondent Mariana van Zeller... more
Broward County Commissioner, School Board member and three others released from custody after court appearanceBroward County Commissioner, School Board member and three others released from... more
Across the country, volunteers held Unite for Change events today. Two such events took place in the small housing development of Rock Creek in Cooper City, FL. The first was at the home of Steve Wall, a former Republican turned Obama supporter. There were approximately 17 people, each of whom took a turn introducing themselves and explaining why they had come. The group went on to have a lively discussion of the issues, the candidates, issues specific to Florida and voter registration. There was a mix of young and old, former Republicans , Independents and Democrats. There were former Hillary voters and those who had not voted in the state's Primary. The Mayor of Cooper City Debbie Eisinger addressed the gathering and answered questions.
Later in the day, there was another Unite for Change event in Rock Creek, this time at the home of Marty and Caryl Shuham. The Shuhams also hosted the introduction of the Obama Fellow for Cooper City, Eduardo Lara, a young Hispanic man from Los Angeles who will be in the area with the other Fellows flown in from across the country to help organize volunteers. Mr. Lara is an adjunct Professor from Pepperdine University who graduated from George Washington University and participated in the Teach for America Program.
There were approximately 31 people at this event who were surprisingly more subdued than those at the earlier event. They listened as Mr. Lara introduced himself and told his personal story as Fellows were trained to do. Mr. Lara had seen Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Convention and was impressed with his knowledge and demeanor. His grandfather had helped to raise him and being interested in politics, discussed the issues of the day that he had read in the newspaper with Mr. Lara. Shortly before he was to join the Fellowship program, Mr. Lara's grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Even as he lay in the hospital, he would ask his grandson how Obama was doing. Shortly before he died, he told each of his grandchildren to follow through on their commitments and dreams. Though Mr. Lara had to request an extension on joining the Fellows to attend his grandfather's funeral, he followed through because of his grandfather's dying request.
The crowd was shown a brief video from the campaign which described why Obama is running for office and depicted volunteers from across the country explaining why they were volunteering. One older woman in the video explained that "for the first time in her life, she felt compelled to do something like this." Another woman, a young mother, choked back tears as she explained why she was doing this for her kids' futures.
The Mayor of Cooper City addressed this second gathering as well and stressed the importance of grassroots organizing. After a brief answer and question period where there were few questions, Mr. Lara closed by saying, "let's have our desires be put forth into action."
Across the country, volunteers held Unite for Change events today. Two such events... more