Another Doctor Arrested for Trafficking Oxycodone
South Florida is known as the pain-pill capital of the country for a reason. With hundreds of pain clinics flourishing throughout St. Lucie County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County, addicts and doctor-shoppers will drive from states as far as Ohio to reap the benefits of pill mills and dispensing doctors. Police who track operations say that even
though many pain clinics operate legally, people can often be seen driving from clinic to clinic procuring hundreds of pills at a time. Even though Florida legislation has attempted to regulate the doctor shopping epidemic, doctors continue to supply drug addicts and
dealers with pills.
St. Lucie County Oxycodone Trafficking
St. Lucie County police arrested yet another doctor Thursday night on several charges including prescribing practitioner fraud and trafficking oxycodone and hydrocodone, according to an article in WPTV News.
Dr. Greg Hayes, 50, is charged with nine counts of prescribing practitioner fraud, three counts of trafficking oxycodone four to 14 grams, one count of trafficking oxycodone 14-28 grams, four counts of trafficking oxycodone 28 grams or more and one count of trafficking hydrocodone over 28 grams. His wife, Kristen Hayes, 27, is charged with nine counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, two counts of trafficking oxycodone four to 14 grams, two counts of trafficking oxycodone 14 to 28 grams, four counts of trafficking oxycodone 28 grams or more and one count of trafficking hydrocodone over 28 grams, according to WPTV News.
Bond for the couple is set at $270,000 each.
Why Pill Mills will Never Go Away
Even though the Florida legislation is trying to regulate the process of obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone and other prescription drugs, it will always be an uphill battle because there are so many legitimate patients that need these drugs to alleviate moderate to severe pain. Also, the nature of pain clinics as a proliferating business is hard to track because an individual does not have to be a licensed practitioner (one can even be a convicted felon) to open up a clinic. They can open and shut down very quickly, only to reopen in another location. Several pain clinics have legitimate and legal operations but the illegal, low rent operations are harder to track down and prosecute before they change location.
Oxycodone Trafficking Defense
As you can see with Dr. Hayes, when you are charged with trafficking oxycodone, you are likely to have several counts of the same charge as well as residual charges like fraud. It is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately after being arrested and accused of these charges. Oxycodone is a very serious pain medication and the charges are extremely severe. A criminal defense lawyer will provide you with professional representation to make sure your side of the story is heard in court. With the high correlation of overdose deaths and pain clinics in operation, it is sure to be a long and difficult process if you have been charged with trafficking prescription pills. Make sure you have a criminal defense lawyer on your team.