Pill Peddling Podiatrist Sentenced In Drug Diversion Scheme
NOV 1 -- (Atlanta, GA) - Steven HOLLANDER, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Julio JEVELES, 29, of Miami, Florida, were sentenced today for their roles in a prescription drug distribution ring operating in Atlanta and Miami. Until his arrest, HOLLANDER was a licensed podiatrist who practiced in Atlanta.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “Addressing the problem of the abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals continues to be one of DEA’s top priorities. Whether it is a trusted medical professional who is illegitimately pushing pharmaceutical products or a person standing on the corner selling crack, they both are breaking the law and deserve a lengthy prison term.”
United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “Hollander used his position as a podiatrist to obtain massive quantities of Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Lorazepam and Alprazolam, all of which are Schedule III and IV controlled substances because of the dangers to health they pose if misused or abused. He then diverted these drugs to street-level dealers like Jeveles, who sold them for a huge profit. This case should serve as an example to those who divert prescription drugs for profit and those who distribute these drugs in our communities; you will face significant prison time.”
HOLLANDER was sentenced to 3 years, 10 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. On August 22, 2007, HOLLANDER pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute a variety of Schedule III and IV controlled substances.
JEVELES was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. JEVELES pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute Schedule III and IV controlled substances and weapons charges on August 16, 2007.
According to Nahmias and the evidence in this case: HOLLANDER was a licensed podiatrist assigned a DEA registration number to handle Schedule II through V controlled substances. In late March of 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration was notified of HOLLANDER’s suspicious purchase of narcotics. A search of DEA databases revealed that during 2006, HOLLANDER ordered approximately 202,500 dosage units of Hydrocodone, which is more dosage units than any other podiatrist registered with the DEA in the United States. The next highest amount ordered in that period by a registered podiatrist was 52,500.
After receiving the narcotics, HOLLANDER shipped the drugs via UPS to JEVELES and others operating in Miami. Eventually, JEVELES sold the drugs for as much as $5 per pill to street level drug users in Miami. A search of JEVELES’ home at the time of his arrest netted a cache of pills as well as four handguns, an AR-15 rifle, ammunition and an incendiary launcher.
This case was investigated by the DEA.
Assistant United States Attorney Kurt Erskine prosecuted this case.
DEA Atlanta Field Division SAC Benson recommends that parents and children educate themselves about the dangers of methamphetamine and other harmful drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive website at www.justhinktwice.com