MIAMI, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Federal authorities used racketeering statutes to charge 32 people with operating Florida pill mills that racked up profits of more than $40 million.
FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies said law enforcement dismantled the nation's largest criminal organization that was illegally distributing painkillers and steroids, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
The three-year investigation, codenamed Operation Oxy Alley, targeted owners, 13 doctors and operators of the nation's four largest pain clinics -- in Broward and Palm Beach counties -- as well as two pharmacies, one pharmaceutical supplier and one Internet-based steroid business.
Among those charged were 30-year-old twins Jeffrey and Christopher George whose South Florida pill mill network collected $40 million in just two years peddling millions of pain pills, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
One of George's pain clinic physicians, Dr. Gerald J. Klein, was charged with first-degree homicide for prescribing 210 narcotic pain pills to a man who overdosed on the drugs.
Federal, state and local law enforcement took part in the investigation that was based at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Weston, Fla.