More Defendants Sentenced in Florida Pill
Jan 20 – Miami – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the sentencing of two additional defendants in connection with charges stemming from Operation Oxy Alley, a coordinated investigation into pill mills in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Including the two defendants sentenced today, 13 defendants have been sentenced to date on an indictment unsealed on August 23, 2010, which charged 32 defendants. The indictment alleged that defendants Christopher and Jeffrey George, twin brothers, operated, managed and financed four pain management clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. According to the indictment and statements made in court, from 2008 to early 2010, these pill mills distributed approximately 20 million oxycodone pills and made more than $40 million from the illegal sales of controlled substances. Thirteen of the thirty-two defendants were doctors.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced two defendants, both of whom had previously pled guilty in September and October 2011. Christopher Hutson, 31, of Wellington, pled guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and Christine Chico-Blume, a doctor, 59, of Jupiter, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Christopher Hutson was sentenced to 108 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Christine Chico-Blume was sentenced to 60 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
At present, 28 of the 32 defendants named in the indictment have pleaded guilty, including clinic owners Christopher and Jeffrey George. The sentencing hearings are scheduled to continue throughout January and February 2012.
The investigation and prosecution were the result of work by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. DEA, FBI, IRS-CID were assisted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Hollywood Police Department, the Boca Raton Police Department, and the Davie Police Department. Coordination efforts also included cooperation by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office as well as contributions by the Delray Beach Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, Medley Police Department, Homestead Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, and Sunny Isles Police Department.