|Published:||Jun 28, 2012 5:32 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 28, 2012 3:24 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla - A DEA pain clinic raid across Florida lands 14 people in jail including owners of a Ft. Myers pharmacy. Federal officials deemed the two year investigation "Operation Pill Street Blues."
Among those cuffed, were two firefighters with ties to Southwest Florida. Lewis Stouffer and Craig Turturo are firefighters from Pompano Beach and the owners of Sunset Pharmacy off Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.
The pharmacy was raided by DEA officials Wednesday morning. "This is the culmination of a two year investigation. Operation Pill Street Blues, " says Steven Genevish, DEA supervisor.
Boxes of prescription drugs and logs were seized by DEA agents, but this raid was part of a much bigger bust spanning from Jacksonville to Miami.
In all, seven doctors and seven clinic owners were arrested, including Stouffer and Turturo.
"This pharmacy is connected through the ownership of some of the targets of the pain clinics that are being closed down," says Genevish.
In November of 2011, the two firefighters were arrested in Charlotte County for illegally putting up signs to promote their pain clinic.
DEA officials say this investigation began in 2010 after numerous reports of a suspicious pain management clinic in Vero Beach.
Investigators traced that clinic and eight others, including Sunset Pharmacy to Stouffer's enterprise.
They say his organization is responsible for dispensing millions of pills, including Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax and Valium.
DEA officials say doctors were recruited by the Stouffer organization to prescribe these drugs to doctor shoppers, many of whom had patients who were addicts and abused their prescriptions.
"Dr. Kammerman alone prescribed over 640,000 tablets of Oxycodone, in less than one year. Folks, that's 12,000 tablets a week. That's 1,700 tablets a day," says Mark Trouville, Special DEA Agent.
Investigators say in all, the seven doctors charged Wednesday are responsible for dispensing over two million Oxycodone tablets. They also say Stouffer is the "brains behind the operation" and he had one purpose: to make money from illegal drug trafficking.
Two of the doctors arrested are being charged with manslaughter for killing a patient at Stuart Pain Management in March.
Sunset Pharmacy remains open, but they are not allowed to fill prescriptions for controlled substances.