Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce Charges Against Psychiatrist for Allegedly Distributing Oxycodone

June 19, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 18, 2013 released the following:

“Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced the arrest today of William S. Belfar, a licensed psychiatrist in New York, on charges that he distributed oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, for cash and without a medical purpose. Belfar was presented today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, William Belfar, a licensed psychiatrist, contributed to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction by writing prescriptions in exchange for cash—conduct which he had described as illegal when discussing other doctors. This office will not tolerate medical professionals who exploit their licenses to fuel the prescription drug problem.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said, “William Belfar, a licensed physician and mental health professional, allegedly exploited the addictive nature of oxycodone—the very thing he warned of on television—to make money. He violated the oath of his profession and broke the law in peddling oxycodone prescriptions. The Health Care Fraud Task Force was formed in part to protect the public from unscrupulous doctors who put profiteering ahead of professional responsibility.”

According to the complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Belfar operated a medical office in Manhattan, New York, from which he sold prescriptions for oxycodone and other medications for cash. On three occasions from May 2011 to April 2013, he sold prescriptions of oxycodone pills and other medications to an FBI confidential informant and two undercover FBI officers. Belfar sold the prescriptions for up to $1,000 per prescription. On one occasion when Belfar sold an oxycodone prescription, he stated to the informant, “[I]t is a very easy way to make money, but it’s an easy way for me to go to jail, too.” Belfar prescribed the oxycodone to the confidential informant even though he said he believed the informant was a “dealer.”

In February and March 2013, around the same time that Belfar was selling oxycodone prescriptions, he appeared on two television shows as an interview guest on the subject of oxycodone addiction. During those interviews, Belfar discussed cases of celebrities becoming addicted to oxycodone, including one situation where the “doctor essentially became [a] drug dealer.” Belfar also stated during one interview that “This is a big business….On the street…each [oxycodone] pill is $30….Patients will pay a lot of money just to get these pills….The doctors prescribe it. Yes, some do it for money. Some do it because they just don’t know what they are doing….[T]hey just shouldn’t be doing it.”

Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a powerful painkiller with a high potential for addiction and abuse. It is sold on the street as a substitute for heroin and other illegal drugs.

Belfar, 49, of Huntington, New York, is charged with three counts of distributing oxycodone. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI, the FBI’s Boston Field Office, the FBI Boston-Lakeville RA, the New York City Police Department, and the FBI’s New York Health Care Fraud Task Force. The FBI’s New York Health Care Fraud Task Force was formed in 2007 in an effort to combat health care fraud in the greater New York City area. The task force is composed of agents, officers, and investigators of the FBI, NYPD, New York State Insurance Fraud Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Inspector General, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NYS Attorney General’s Office, NYS-Office of Medicaid Inspector General, NYC Health and Hospitals Inspector General, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Mukhi and Ian McGinley are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Vallejo-Based Rappers Arrested as Part of Major Investigation of Alleged Drug Trafficking Throughout the United States

April 25, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 24, 2012 released the following:

“SACRAMENTO, CA—A number of arrests have occurred in a major federal investigation into drug trafficking throughout the country, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, agents arrested a total of 25 individuals in Vallejo, Stockton, Fairfield, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, and Oklahoma City. Some of those arrested are Vallejo-based rappers and associates of an entertainment label known as Thizz Entertainment.

Vallejo Police Chief Robert Nichelini stated, “This is another example of partnership that exists between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Vallejo Police Department to improve the safety of our community and reduce the level of violence associated with drug dealing. We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California in coordinating the investigation and prosecuting the persons involved in such a complex and dangerous criminal enterprise.”

During the investigation, agents seized approximately 45,000 MDMA pills, approximately four pounds of crack cocaine, a half-pound of heroin, and $200,000 in suspected drug proceeds. Agents also forfeited 230 acres of property valued at approximately $1 million as part of the investigation. As part of last Thursday’s takedown, agents executed three federal search warrants and seized approximately five pounds of marijuana, a loaded firearm, a 2010 Audi A6 with an estimated value of $60,000, and an Audi S5 with an estimated value of $50,000. Agents seized $67,238 in Vallejo and $6,831 in Sacramento for a total of $74,069 during the service of the federal search warrants.

According to the criminal complaints, the DEA-led investigation uncovered a network of drug distributors working in the Crest neighborhood of Vallejo, along with individuals transporting large quantities of drugs outside of California to realize a larger profit. A number of the subjects of the investigation performed as rappers under the entertainment label known as Thizz Entertainment. The origins of Thizz Entertainment can be traced back to the notorious Vallejo-based robbery crews known as the Romper Room Gang. The primary activities of the Romper Room Gang included armed bank robberies, drug trafficking, and murder. The Romper Room Gang was active throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. However, as a result of Vallejo police investigations with the assistance from federal law enforcement, many Romper Room Gang members were convicted of federal crimes and incarcerated for several years in the state and federal prison systems.

Some of the individuals charged in the criminal complaint are alleged to be former members of the Romper Room Gang. According to the complaint, Thizz Entertainment started in 1999 as a record label promoting and producing rap artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily from the Crest neighborhood of their hometown of Vallejo. The name Thizz Entertainment originates from the term “thizz,” which is slang for the drug MDMA (also known as ecstasy). In many songs by artists on the Thizz Entertainment label, the lyrics glorify and promote the use and distribution of MDMA pills.

The complaint alleges that the targets of this investigation engaged in large-scale drug trafficking while also releasing rap albums under the Thizz Entertainment label. During the conspiracy, agents uncovered trafficking of MDMA, cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, Oxycodone, and marijuana, in violation of federal law. The complaint details drug shipments sent from the Vallejo area to Oklahoma City; Jamaica; Queens, New York; Atlanta; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The following individuals were charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking in the two federal criminal complaints:

Michael Lott, performs under the name “Miami the Most”

*Major Norton, performs under the name “Dubee”

*Lawrence Kennedy Nelson

Gaylord Franklin, performs under the name “Geezy”

Clifford Bullock

*Narco McFarland, Sr.

Latroy Cunningham

*Eric Robinson

Dante Barbarin

*Eileen Knight

Beshiba Cook

Bruce Thurmon, performs under the name “Little Bruce”

Damian Peterson

Mikel Brown

**Nicholas Ramirez

*Ung Duong

*Phat Nguyen

*Marcus Davis

**Tiffany Brown

Andre Cawthorne

*Michael Smiley

*Anthony Young

*Anthony Payton

*Arrested and detained in custody except where noted released.

**Arrested and released.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 4, 2012.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the DEA Sacramento District Office, the Vallejo Police Department, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, and the Sacramento FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jason Hitt is prosecuting the case.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

When prosecuted in federal court, drug traffickers typically receive much harsher sentences. In addition to the longer sentences imposed, unlike state court prisoners who are released early on parole, there is no early release on parole in the federal system.

The charges are only allegations. Each of the defendants listed is presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Forty-Seven Individuals Indicted for Alleged Drug Trafficking in the Municipality of Corozal, Puerto Rico

September 22, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 22, 2011 released the following:

“SAN JUAN, PR— On September 21, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted 47 individuals as a result of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD)-Bayamón Strike Force, announced today United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The defendants are charged in a six-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, “crack” (cocaine base,) cocaine, marijuana, Oxycodone (commonly known as “Percocet”), and Alprazolam (commonly known as “Xanax”). Count six charges 36 defendants with using and carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

According to the indictment, Luis Agosto-López, aka “Tutin,” became the main leader of the drug trafficking organization upon the death of Gamalier Rosado-Serrano, aka “Gamma,” on or about May 9, 2004. The object of the conspiracy was to distribute controlled substances at the Enrique Landron Public Housing Project, located in the Municipality of Corozal, Puerto Rico, for significant financial gain.

It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that some of the defendants and their co-conspirators would provide payments to an undisclosed source in exchange for sensitive law enforcement information, as to dates and times of prospective interventions by the Police of Puerto Rico at the Enrique Landron Public Housing Project and/or police protection and escort to members of the conspiracy during the transportation of narcotics from different housing projects located within the Municipalities of San Juan and Bayamón to the Enrique Landron Public Housing Project.

The defendants and their co-conspirators would purchase wholesale quantities of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, and Percocet in order to distribute the same in street quantity amounts at their drug distribution points. The 47 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy, including: seven leaders/drug point owners, one supplier, three enforcers, five runners, 24 sellers, one drug processor, three look-outs, and three facilitators.

The “drug owners” would often receive proceeds from the sale of these controlled substances. The controlled substances were sold in distinctive baggies, vials, or packaging, using stickers or brands in order to identify and maintain control of the drugs disseminated at the drug distribution points. They would use their homes to process kilogram quantities of narcotics for street level sales. The members of the drug trafficking organization would use force, violence and intimidation in order to gain and maintain control of their drug points and in order to intimidate rival drug trafficking organizations and/or expand their drug trafficking activities.

“Violent drug organizations hold our communities hostage, and promulgate fear, intimidation, and violence, threatening the well being of law abiding citizens,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “This investigation has taken dangerous criminals off the streets of Puerto Rico and send a clear message to other violent gangs that we will break their grip on our communities and bring them to justice.”

“This gang was a very violent gang which maintained control of its drug trafficking activities by way of force, violence, and intimidation, but after today’s law enforcement action, this gang will no longer cause harm to the people of Puerto Rico and the residents of the town of Corozal,” said Carlos Cases-Gallardo, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-San Juan Field Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorneys Alberto López-Rocafort and Cesar Rivera-Giraud.

If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines of up to $8 million. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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60 Indicted in Drug and Gun Sting Operation

August 30, 2011

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on August 30, 2011 released the following:

“CLEVELAND – Twenty-six people were indicted in federal court on firearms and drug trafficking charges following a year-long undercover sting operation centered in Mansfield, Ohio.

The joint operation, led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – with the participation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – targeted convicted felons who traffic firearms and drugs.

The investigation focused on the unlawful sale and possession of firearms, the use of firearms in narcotics trafficking and the distribution of drugs in and around the Mansfield-area.

In a related effort, 34 people were indicted on state drug trafficking charges.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of:

  • Hundreds of rounds of ammunition;
  • 70 firearms;
  • 1,316 grams of cocaine;
  • 768 grams of crack cocaine;
  • 1,099 Oxycodone pills;
  • 215 ecstasy pills;
  • 199 Vicodin pills;
  • Five grams of heroin; and
  • 36 pills of Alprazolam.

“This undercover operation was strategically targeted at felons and violent criminals who flooded Mansfield with prescription drugs, illegal narcotics and illegal firearms,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio. “This investigation will shut off a significant pipeline of illegal firearms and drugs.”

“Thwarting today’s criminal organizations requires the collective expertise, diverse statutory authorities, and jurisdiction of many agencies and departments,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI for Ohio and Michigan. “This case is a perfect example of the power of collaboration and its impact on public safety here in Ohio.”

The indictments included 121 separate criminal charges. They were returned Aug. 24, but only unsealed this morning when federal and local agents arrested the suspects.

The cases are grouped as 12 separate indictments. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly L. Galvin and Carol M. Skutnik.

The investigation is being conducted by: the ATF, HSI, U.S. Marshals Service, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, Ravenna Police Department and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Superseding Indictment Returned Against Pharmacist and Six Co-Conspirators for Alleged Distribution of Oxycodone; False Tax Returns

August 30, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 29, 2011 released the following:

“NEWARK, NJ—A 26-count superseding indictment was filed today against pharmacist Vincent Hsia, the proprietor of Lincoln Pharmacy Network, located in Edison, New Jersey, and six additional individuals, relating to the distribution of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The superseding indictment charges the following individuals with possessing with intent to distribute and conspiring to distribute oxycodone:

  • Vincent Hsia, 51, Flemington, New Jersey;
  • Ryan Otskey, 36, Lyndhurst, New Jersey;
  • Ivan Lugo, 34, Elizabeth, New Jersey;
  • Cheryle Sutter, 31, Carteret, New Jersey;
  • Keith Thompson, 33, Newark, New Jersey;
  • Gary Cross, 27, Roseland, New Jersey; and
  • Angelo Cifelli, 33, Nutley, New Jersey.

The superseding indictment further charges that Hsia filed false individual and corporate 2008 and 2009 tax returns. Specifically, the superseding indictment alleges that Hsia intentionally failed to report approximately $275,000 in income on his personal income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and 2009. In addition, Hsia allegedly misstated Lincoln Pharmacy’s corporate tax returns by intentionally failing to include more than $1.2 million in gross receipts earned by the pharmacy during the 2008 and 2009 tax years.

The superseding indictment was preceded by the filing of a criminal complaint, which was unsealed on April 6, 2010, charging Hsia and seven additional individuals with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Except for Hsia and Thompson, the original defendants have all pleaded guilty before the Honorable Susan D. Wigenton, United States District Judge, as follows:

  • Pasquale Pugliese, 35, Kenilworth, New Jersey (plea July 14, 2010);
  • Marc Calabria, 33, Nutley, New Jersey (plea September 15, 2010);
  • Michael Caviness, 50, Newark, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Thomas Giaimo, 29, Nutley, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Jason Caracappa, 31, Manalapan, New Jersey (plea October 12, 2010); and
  • John Dechiara, 20, Iselin, New Jersey (plea October 18, 2010);.

Finally, Edwin Martinez, 26, of Fords, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone before Judge Wigenton on April 27, 2011.

In addition, criminal complaints previously were filed in federal court against Otskey, Lugo, Sutter, Cross and Cifelli. Specifically, the complaint filed against Otskey, Mag. No. 10-3213 (PS), alleged that he obtained blank prescriptions from the High Mountain Health clinic in North Haledon, New Jersey, that were filled by Hsia for in excess of 61,000 oxycodone pills, which pills were subsequently redistributed. Similarly, the criminal complaint filed against Cross, Mag. No. 11-8055 (MCA), alleged that Cross obtained blank prescriptions from Town Medical Associates in Verona, New Jersey, which he and his co-conspirators used to purchase approximately 14,000 oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy. The criminal complaint filed against Sutter and Lugo, Mag. No. 10-3203 (PS), also alleged that they obtained oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy using prescriptions completed in the names of fictitious patients, and utilized a number of co-conspirators, including Pugliese and Martinez, to fill those fraudulent prescriptions. Finally, the criminal complaint filed against Cifelli, Mag. No. 10-4206 (CCC), alleged that he furthered the conspiracy by driving co-conspirators to Lincoln Pharmacy and otherwise assisting with the distribution of oxycodone.

Judge Wigenton previously set a trial date of October 4, 2011, in this matter.

The oxycodone distribution and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The tax charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell; Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; the Newark, Elizabeth, and Nutley, New Jersey police departments; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices for the investigation leading to today’s superseding indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony J. Mahajan of the Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Multiple Defendants Arrested for Allegedly Operating a Prescribtion Drug “Pill Mill”

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia on June 29, 2011 released the following press release:

Owners, Managers, and Doctors at “Atlanta Medical Group” Accused of Illegal Distribution of Hundreds of Thousands of Oxycodone Pills

ATLANTA, GA – JASON COLE VOTROBEK, 27, of Vero Beach Florida; JESSE VIOLANTE, 32, of Vero Beach, Florida; ROLAND RAFAEL CASTELLANOS, 32, of Cartersville, Georgia; TARA ATKINS, 33, of Cartersville, Georgia; and Dr. JAMES CHAPMAN, 61, of Macon, Georgia, were indicted and arrested on federal drug and money laundering charges for their respective roles in operating a so-called “pill mill” pain clinic which served as a front for the illegal distribution of addictive pain killers.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of today’s arrests, “The abuse of pain medication has become epidemic and now accounts for more deaths in Georgia than all of the traditional illegal drugs combined. As the problems caused by prescription drug abuse become a focus for many of the communities in our district, our drug prosecutors also are focusing on the primary sources of these dangerous drugs in our state.”

John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Atlanta Field Division said, “The dispensing of addictive prescription pain medication under the guise of a doctor’s care, as occurred in this investigation, is not about the good of the community or an individual’s specific health needs; it is about greed and those involved in “pill mill” activity are in fact drug dealers.”

Atlanta IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael McDaniel said, “The indictment of these individuals puts a spotlight on organizations that illegally distribute drugs as well as the exemplary coordination among law enforcement, which leads to breaking up these organizations. Our goal is to stop criminal enterprises that profit from the illegal trade of dangerous narcotics and take away any financial benefit they receive from their criminal activity.”

Atlanta FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin, said, “The FBI, through its Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Safe Streets Task Force, in initiating this investigation in conjunction with the GBI and the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, is pleased with its role in the successful outcome of this case. Through joint efforts such as this, the community in which we serve benefits while sending a clear message to those that would exploit the addictions of others.”

Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap said, “The Bartow/Cartersville Drug Task Force and all other agencies involved have been working diligently to stop this type of illegal drug activity. We want to send a message that we will not stand for any type of drug dealers in this county. Whether it be prescription drugs, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or any other illegal drug, we will exhaust all our law enforcement resources to stop you.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the indictment, and information presented in court: In May 2010, working from information from the FBI/ Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Safe Streets Task Force, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, as well as agents for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), expanded an investigation of “Atlanta Medical Group,” after learning that the clinic, located at 16 Collins Drive, Cartersville, Georgia, was prescribing pain pills outside the bounds of legitimate medical practice.

The investigation revealed that VOTROBEK, VIOLANTE, AND CASTELLANOS financed and operated the clinic. ATKINS served as the office manager. CHAPMAN served as the primary doctor. The indictment charges that in their respective capacities, they worked to procure and distribute Oxycodone pills to addicts and illegitimate distributors. The clinic’s doctor was directed by the owners and managers to see as many patients as possible, in order to generate substantial profits through the sale of pills, which were largely dispensed on site. CHAPMAN allegedly did so, however, without conducting sufficient medical examinations. The indictment alleges that at on least one occasion, ATKINS facilitated the filling of prescriptions when the doctor was unable to do so himself. In addition, the amounts of pills distributed to patients were excessive, and with unusual dosage patterns.

The indictment charges that the clinic was really a drug distribution operation with an extremely high volume of patients visiting from surrounding states. Many of those visiting had apparent signs of being addicts. The clinic allegedly engaged in unusual practices, including permitting non-medical staff to assist with medical procedures, including taking blood pressure, to maximize the number of patients to be seen. The defendants allegedly made millions of dollars during the clinic’s approximately one year of operation. The indictment charges that the defendants established multiple bank accounts, many in third-party names, to conceal the windfall profits.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. This case was initiated by the FBI/ Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Safe Streets Task Force.

Assistant United States Attorneys G. Scott Hulsey and Cassandra Schansman prosecuted the case.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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