Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Pill Mill Insider
The feds just busted the operators of Florida's largest pill mills. As part of the investigation, federal agents listened in on phone calls and you won't believe what they heard. Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
WSVN -- Chris George owned American Pain with clinics throughout South Florida. Law enforcement says 87 percent of his customers came from out of state to get addictive drugs to use abuse and sell.
John Gilles, F.B.I. Special Agent in Charge: "As long as customers handed over wads of cash, the doctors wrote the prescriptions for the pain pills."
When George, his twin brother and the doctors who worked for them were indicted, documents showed what went on behind the scenes.
Wifredo Ferrer, U.S. Attorney: "It's cold hearted and make no mistake. It's guided only by absolute greed."
The documents reveal that when George used his cell phone, the government was listening. Agents learned: So much cash came into the clinics it was kept in garbage bags.
George bought breast implants for workers. He claimed to have five million dollars in cash and he told the doctors who worked for him what drugs to dispense.
Also indicted, Derik Nolan who managed security for George. Nolan didn't want our cameras anywhere around the clinics.
Carmel Cafiero: "This is not your property."
Derik Nolan: "It is we lease it so it is our property."
Carmel Cafiero: "You don't lease the whole area and you have no right to tell me to leave public access."
Nolan is quoted in the indictment as calling himself the king underboss. As 7 News first showed you, he and his security officers chased vehicles they considered suspicious.
Woman: "I'm scared to pull over because he's gonna get me."
They also tried to intimidate 7 News.
Security Guard: "I already called the cops, cut it out."
This took place while Chris George hid behind a parked car. Other scare tactics weren't so tame.
Wifredo Ferrer: "Including kidnapping, extortion, assault, aggravated assault with a firearm and other crimes of violence against their competitors."
And when it came to customers, the indictment indicates Chris George wasn't sympathetic. When two were killed at a railroad crossing, George's comment was "You got to be an idiot to get hit by a train."
George also called another patient who died from an overdose an idiot.
Yet when authorities raided his Lake Worth clinic and searched his home, the indictment indicates George felt sorry for himself. Telling his wife "Maybe I should...Kill myself."
Carmel Cafiero: "Chris George didn't take his life, but the life he once knew is clearly over. And at 30-years-old, his future could be decades spent behind bars."IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE: