Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
The days of Florida being called the Pill Mill Capital of the Country are now behind us and we are making significant strides to combat the national opioid crisis. As a state and nation, we still face significant challenges exacerbated by heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drugs. Illegally sold prescription pills also continue to fuel addiction in our country.
This week, my office and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Dr. Armando Falcon and two office managers following a lengthy undercover investigation. According to the investigation, Dr. Falcon operated a pill mill at the Pain Center of Cutler Bay, a pain management center in South Florida. The investigation determined that Dr. Falcon met with patients for less than two minutes before prescribing in many cases approximately 150, 30 mg, oxycodone pills—earning millions as a result of his criminal enterprise.
Dr. Falcon sponsored a lavish lifestyle while writing scripts for addictive prescription pills, but many times, doctors are not the sole contributors to these criminal operations—staff members are sometimes culpable too. Whether it’s a doctor illegally prescribing opioids or a staff member engaging in the illegal behavior, they will be held responsible.
One life lost to a drug overdose is too many, and I will continue the fight to stop the national opioid crisis. Thanks to my partners in the Florida Legislature, we have seen tremendous progress in our fight to save lives. My office is also taking legal action with our recent filing in state court against some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributions for their role in the opioid crisis.
As former state prosecutor and Florida’s Attorney General, I have spent my entire career fighting drug abuse and trying to save lives. As your Attorney General I will do everything I can to protect Floridians from this epidemic.
FDLE investigation leads to arrest on 22 charges of identity fraud
Michael Todd Watters, 48, was arrested recently in Georgia on a warrant stemming from an identity fraud investigation conducted by FDLE agents.
Watters, who was in federal custody, was charged with 22 counts of criminal use of personal identification information by the Office of Statewide Prosecution. Some of his victims included nationally recognized sports figures and celebrities with Florida residencies.
In September 2015, Altamonte Springs Police Department received information about alleged drug use involving Watters. At the time, Watters identified himself under an alias. During a search, officers found several counterfeit driver’s licenses and upon further investigation found evidence that the defendant intended to engage in fraudulent and counterfeit activity. More.
Attorney General Bondi and DEA Shut Down Pill Mill
Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami Field Division arrested a doctor and two office managers on charges related to operating a pill mill. According to a lengthy undercover investigation, Dr. Armando Falcon owned and operated Pain Center of Cutler Bay, a pain management clinic in South Florida, as a cover to illegally sell large quantities of prescription pain killers.
The investigation revealed that Dr. Falcon met with patients for less than two minutes before writing prescriptions for approximately 150, 30 mg, oxycodone pills. Dr. Falcon only accepted cash payments, saw between 20 to 25 patients a day and earned more than a million dollars a year from this illegal activity. According to bank records obtained during the investigation, Dr. Falcon used the cash proceeds from the clinic to purchase beach apartments, boats, expensive cars and houses. More.
This week, Attorney General Pam Bondi moderated a panel on Human Trafficking at the Conference of Western Attorneys General in New Mexico. Panelists included: Chief Deputy Attorney General for Special Investigations, Jose Maria Gonzalez Martinez, Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes, Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking, Juan Manuel Zavala Evangelista, and Special Prosecutor for Migrants, Javier Perez Duron.
Monday is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and ahead of the day, Attorney General Bondi is highlighting her 2018 Human Trafficking Summit in Orlando. This Summit brings together local, state and national leaders working to eradicate all forms of trafficking. The Summit begins Oct. 1, attendees can register now here.