Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
As Attorney General, I fight everyday to capture and prosecute criminals bringing deadly drugs into our state, but arresting traffickers and seizing drugs are just part of the battle to combat addiction. This week I was honored to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating Florida’s newest treatment facility. Riverside Recovery is a 60,000 square foot treatment facility located in Tampa and offering a full continuum of care to people struggling with addiction.
We are in the midst of a national opioid epidemic claiming lives in Florida and I am working with our law enforcement partners to take heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drug off our streets—to stop addiction before it begins. While it is my job to fight drug trafficking, I know it will take more than police and prosecutors to meet this challenge.
That is why I am encouraged to see new treatment facilities—and why I worked with lawmakers to improve the sober home industry in our state. Unfortunately some sober home operators prey on people’s desire to receive treatment. Often their clients do not receive the treatment they desperately need and leave the facility in worse shape than when they arrived. This legislative session we passed reforms aimed at improving the sober homes industry. By strengthening regulations we hope to stop shady sober home operators from preying on people seeking help.
In closing, I want to personally thank Blake and Tate Casper and Todd Alley who helped make Riverside Recovery a reality. Their kindness and willingness to give back to the community serve as an example of the how caring people can make a big difference in this state and save lives.
Four Arrested in String of Drug Store Burglaries Connected to Larger Organized Criminal Enterprise
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office announced the arrests of three adults and one juvenile in connection to a string of drug store burglaries in South Florida. According to the investigation, the defendants stole prescription painkillers including morphine and oxycodone from at least two Walgreens stores with the intention to illegally sell the stolen drugs on the black market.
As part of the investigation, authorities seized a total of more than 1,000 grams of oxycodone, more than 1,000 grams of hydrocodone, seven grams of morphine and six bottles of promethazine with codeine. The drugs are suspected to be stolen from two store locations in Hialeah. More.
Escambia County Resident Arrested for Criminal Use of Personal ID Information
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a convicted felon for criminal use of personal identification information. According to the MFCU investigation, Sade Monique Grier, 29, criminally used her sister’s identification in order to work in the health care field and receive more $10,000 in payroll funds.
Grier allegedly used her sister’s identification for her employment and training records to gain employment with House of Honor the Westbrooks, a Medicaid provider. The defendant has been previously convicted of theft from a person 65 years of age or older, fraudulent use of a credit card and grand theft. More.
Targeted Case Manager Arrested for Defrauding Medicaid Out of More Than $27,000
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Miami-Dade Police Department arrested a targeted case manager for defrauding the Medicaid program out of more than $27,000. According to the investigation, Arkyn Mena, 45, falsified the progress notes of six different Medicaid recipients to make it appear that the defendant provided services never performed. Submitting these falsified progress notes caused fraudulent billing to the Medicaid program.
Mena faces one count of organized scheme to defraud and one count of Medicaid fraud, both second-degree felonies. If convicted, Mena faces up to 30 years in prison. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in prosecuting this case. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi visiting with Joan Browne and Sharon Orr, who both work in recovery, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Riverside Recovery in Tampa. Riverside Recovery is a treatment center for those struggling with substance abuse.
Attorney General Bondi speaking with Florida State Senator Darryl Rouson at the celebration of Riverside Recovery. Senator Rouson has been a great partner in the fight against drug abuse in Florida.
Attorney General Bondi with Patrick Myers, who also works in substance abuse treatment in the Tampa Bay area.
Sunday is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a day designated to raise awareness of human trafficking across the globe. For more information about the day, click here.