Synthetic drugs cause hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, and more. These dangerous drugs are being marketed to our youth with bright packages and innocuous names, such as “scooby snax."
Since taking office, I have worked with the Florida Legislature each legislative session to add dangerous synthetic compounds to the Schedule I of controlled substances. This legislative session, I am working with bill sponsors, Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Clay Ingram, and the Florida Legislature to add an additional six synthetic substances to the Schedule I of controlled substances, making it a third-degree felony for an individual to “sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver" these dangerous drugs. Additionally, we are working to add three extremely lethal synthetic compounds, which are commonly found in the street drug “molly,” to the trafficking statute. On Wednesday, the Controlled Substances Bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
I encourage anyone who sees synthetic drugs being sold on store shelves in Florida to contact their local law enforcement agency immediately. We will continue to do whatever it takes to protect Floridians from these dangerous substances.
In closing, my prayers are with the family and friends of Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine who was killed this week in the line of duty. He is a true hero who died protecting his community.
Lee County Man Arrested for Elder Abuse
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a former Lee County respiratory therapist at HealthPark Medical Center on battery charges. According to the investigation, Peter Bernat allegedly abused a 68-year-old intensive care unit patient by severely bending his fingers back resulting in a bone fracture in his hand, while the man’s arms were restrained. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s investigation led to the MFCU issuing a warrant for the arrest.
Bernat was charged with battery on a person over the age of 65, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he faces a minimum term of three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The case will be prosecuted by the Lee County State Attorney’s Office.
In addition to investigating Medicaid fraud, the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly or disabled persons in health care facilities. The Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team plays a key role in helping to ensure that efficient and effective health care is being provided.
Pam Olsen, Director of the International House of Prayer
Also on Tuesday, Attorney General Bondi visited with Pam Olsen, Director of the International House of Prayer.
Hillsborough County Medical Association
Attorney General Bondi spoke to members of the Hillsborough County Medical Association on Tuesday, and she thanked them for their commitment to enhancing health care in our communities.
Bob Graham Leadership Series at the University of Florida
On Thursday, Attorney General Bondi spoke at the Bob Graham Leadership Series at the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Policy. Former UF Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. David Colburn and UF Law School Dean Bob Jerry hosted the event. Dean Jerry honored Attorney General Bondi as an "Honorary Law Gator."