Sarasota County, Florida -- After a length investigation, The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested 61 people in a widespread prescription fraud ring.
The investigation began in July when a subject presented a fraudulent Oxycodone prescription from a Miami pain management clinic doctor. Similar scripts were presented at pharmacies and denied. Then the suspects ordered 400 fraudulent prescriptions on counterfeit-proof paper listing the Miami doctor's name, DEA number and 1620 Main Street, Sarasota, as the address.
The scripts were delivered to the location which is a valid address, although not the location of the actual pain management clinic.
Further investigation determined the crime ring had several recruiters who had runners enter the pharmacies multiple times a day with identical prescriptions and paid in cash.
The recruiters chose two primary pharmacies, Olson Liggett Rexall Drug in Sarasota and Barclay Pharmacy in Venice.
The investigation eventually revealed that 220 fraudulent prescriptions for 19,980 Oxycodone pills which were diverted from legitimate medical use. The recruiters collected the pills from the runners and turned them over to the ringleader. The street value of this quantity of Oxycodone pills would have been about $300,000.
At this time, the ringleader, Pedro Alcantara, is being held in Miami where he was wanted on unrelated charges. Another 60 people were arrested over the past several months in Sarasota and Manatee counties. One woman was tracked to Tampa International Airport where she tried to board a flight to Cuba.
The investigation is ongoing and additional warrants have been signed.