Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
March 6, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Three Men Arrested for $11 Million Multi-State Drug Diversion Scheme
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the arrest of three men for their alleged involvement in a multi-state drug diversion ring. According to the investigation, the defendants orchestrated the purchase of millions of dollars of medications on the black market, primarily from Medicaid recipients in Miami, Fla. and Newark, N.J., and resold to pharmacies in the Northeast, including North Philly Pharmacy in Philadelphia, Pa. and Lu Puja Pharmacy in Chicago, Ill. The drugs included anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and HIV medications, such as Abilify, Atripla, Viread, Zyprexa and Plavix. The defendants allegedly operated out of locations in Houston, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted this investigation. Throughout the investigation, authorities seized more than $63,000, two assault rifles and an automatic shotgun, thousands of dollars of brand new designer shoes, thousands of dollars of high-end liquors and imported champagnes, and more than 20 animal trophy heads from South African safari hunting trips. The defendants allegedly bought all possessions with the profits of this scheme.
“This was a complex drug diversion scheme spanning multiple states and involving millions of dollars, but thanks to great partnerships with state and federal agencies we have stopped this massive drug trafficking operation that exploited our Medicaid program,” said Attorney General Bondi.
“The coordination of resources and manpower it takes to bring cases like these to prosecution is extraordinary,” said FDLE Commissioner Richard Swearingen. “The Medicaid program is designed to help those in need, not be exploited. My appreciation to our state and federal partners for their hard work on stopping this criminal organization.”
The following defendants face charges of trafficking in contraband prescription drugs, conspiracy to traffic contraband prescription drugs, two counts of Medicaid fraud, organized scheme to defraud and four counts of money laundering:
If convicted, the defendants face up to 15 years in prison for the conspiracy charge and up to 30 years for the remaining charges. The defendants also face up to $600,000 for each trafficking charge and $10,000 for the remaining eight counts. All three defendants are being held in lieu of bond, which is set at $900,000 each for Carmenate and Enriquez, and $1.8 million for Valdes. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and federal authorities are pursuing more suspects in relation to this drug diversion ring.
· Douglas Carmenate, 34, Miami, Fla.;
· Derek Enriquez, 43, Miami, Fla.;
· Jason Valdes, 44, San Juan, Puerto Rico.