Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Distributing Opioids at His Pain Management Clinic
MIAMI – A Florida man pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawfully distributing opioids at his pain management clinic in Miami, Florida.
According to court documents, Habib Geagea Palacios, 40, of Miami, owned a cash-only pain management clinic in Miami, Florida named General Care Center, Inc. At General Care Center, Palacios paid doctors to prescribe opioids to nearly all patients who visited the clinic, resulting in the illegal distribution of more than two million tablets of Oxycodone 30 mg and generating more than $3 million in cash that was deposited into various bank accounts associated with the clinic and Palacios.
Five doctors who worked at General Care Center have already pleaded guilty in connection with their unlawful prescribing practices at the clinic.
Palacios pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of distributing a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the United States (U.S.) Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The announcement was made by Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division; U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Brian Swain of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
The case is being investigated by the DEA Miami Field Division, HHS-OIG Miami Regional Office, the FBI Miami Field Office, and the USSS Miami Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.