JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville pharmacist and a pharmacy owner are both waiting to learn their fate after they pleaded guilty to charges related to illegally filling drug prescriptions without any legitimate medical purpose.
Federal authorities said the use of a nominal pain management clinic as a “pill mill” happened between Oct. 9, 2014 to June 13, 2017.
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Gilbert Nelson Weise Jr., 58, of Jacksonville, and others reportedly conspired to dispense hydromorphone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, and other drugs, for drug-seeking customers at Coastline Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Inc. in St. Marys, Georgia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Georgia.
The physician at Coastline - who was charged in the indictment, but was found incapable of standing trial - would often dispense the controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and would generate significant amounts of cash. Customers typically paid approximately $300 in cash to Coastline in exchange for prescriptions.
To enable more people to fill their prescriptions, a co-conspirator contacted Weise Jr. who agreed to fill Coastline’s prescriptions at Weise Prescription Shop in Jacksonville.
Due to the high volume of Coastline’s prescriptions, another pharmacy - Coastal RX Pharmacy - also began filling Coastline’s prescriptions, federal authorities said.
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Coastal RX Pharmacy’s co-owner, Amy G. Taylor, 42 of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to knowing about and hiding the unlawful conspiracy and did not report it, which is a violation of federal law.
“Dispensing addictive prescription pain medication under the guise of a doctor’s care puts greed above an individual’s specific health needs and the trust of the community,” Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, said. “Individuals like Weise and his associates who are involved in this ‘pill mill’ activity are nothing more than drug dealers who are licensed to wear white coats and fill prescriptions. Thanks to a concerted effort from our law enforcement partners, south Georgia and its surrounding communities are safer today.”
Officials said Weise Jr. faces up to five years in prison and up to three years of supervised release after completion of any prison term, along with financial penalties.
Taylor’s charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a one-year term of supervised release, as well as financial penalties.
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