How Pill Mil Brothers were Indicted for Weapons Possession, Not Drug Trafficking
In March of this year, federal authorities teamed up with the Palm Beach County police and raided pain clinics in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach owned by twin brothers Chris and Jeff George, 29. This was the beginning of a long and thorough investigation that has redefined the issues of prescription drug trafficking.
The George brothers and the doctors working for them were earning millions from their pain clinics. Chris and Jeff George amassed millions in property and lived in excess while drug traffickers and dealers continued to route supplies from pain clinics owned by the Georges to Kentucky, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Chris George accumulated approximately $40 million in assets, $25 million of which is still unaccounted for. One of the cash-only pain clinics was said to have made sales in one day amounting to $50,000. Doctors in one office allegedly ordered 2.1 million Oxycodone tablets in 2009. Dealers were known to buy the pills here in Florida for $1 to $5 and sell them in other states for anywhere from $20 to $40 per pill.
Pattern of Criminal Behavior
These “pill mills” are not the only source of discrepancies in the George brothers’ case. Chris George was taken into custody and indicted last week on a federal weapons charge. Chris George, a twice-convicted felon, had possession of two shotguns, a pistol and over 100 rounds of ammunition, found during a raid of his home in March.
In October 2008, Chris and Jeff George and two friends, kidnapped and assaulted a man named Robert Eddy. The brothers suspected Eddy had stolen $500,000 from one of their clinics. He said they lured Eddy to Jeff George’s house, handcuffed him and forced him to the ground. Jeff George drew a handgun and fired it next to Eddy’s head.
The FBI stated that the state dismissed this case after agents planned to incorporate it into the RICO charge. Despite the racketeering probe, Chris George has only been charged with possession of firearms and ammunition. The charges do not mention the federal drug investigation even though the weapons were found during a raid of his home and his pain clinic, American Pain in Lake Worth.
RICO and the Law
By definition, a person will be charged with racketeering if he or she is a member of an organization that has committed any two of 35 specified crimes within 10 years. Penalties include a fine up to $25,000 and 20 years imprisonment for each count of racketeering, plus the restitution of all racketeering-related assets.
In many situations, indictment can make a defendant want to strike a deal by pleading guilty to lesser charges or even giving up other members of the organization. Consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to make it through this type of case.
If you have been charged with any of these crimes, or have been charged with racketeering, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you build an aggressive defense.