Published: May 20, 2011 5:51 PM EDT
Updated: May 20, 2011 5:52 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Thursday arrested four people involved in an organized group that obtained more than 23,000 oxycodone tablets illegally from pain clinics throughout the southwest and south Florida area in less than a year.

Eric Lallier, 32 of Alva, Renai Dixon, 44, Lindsey Goodwin, 24, and Matthew Christiansen, 32, all of Lehigh Acres, were charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a third degree felony.

The investigation began in July 2010 when the LCSO arrested John Hoss, 29, of Lehigh Acres for trafficking in oxycodone. Following his arrest, investigators learned that Lallier, Dixon, Goodwin and Christianson were supplying Hoss by traveling to the Broward and Miami area and visiting pain clinics to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone. The group was also visiting multiple pain clinics and pharmacies in the Lee County area and receiving oxycodone.

Lallier, Dixon, Goodwin and Christianson visited a total of 11 different pain clinics and saw at least 14 different doctors between August 2009 and July 2010. In some instances, the group would drive from Lee County to the East Coast together and visit the same clinics at the same time. This investigation revealed that Hoss funded the organization’s travel costs and the costs to fill the prescriptions. The group members would subsequently provide the controlled substances to Hoss who would then sell them on the streets of Lee County.

The subjects were booked into the Lee County Jail. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit.

The arrests are part of a continuing effort by local and state law enforcement to combat the criminal distribution of prescription drugs in Florida. The agencies involved participate on the Southwest Regional Drug Enforcement Strike Force which is one of seven local task forces established by Governor Rick Scott in March.