Orlando Man Sentenced 18 Months In Prison For His Role In Large Scale Internet Pill Mill Schemes In Florida, Missouri And Ohio
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Anthony Trawick (32, Orlando) to 18 months in federal prison for narcotics and money laundering conspiracies. Trawick was charged in three separate cases out of the Middle District of Florida, the Western District of Missouri and the Northern District of Ohio. The court also ordered him to forfeit money judgments in the amount of $690,205 (in the Florida case); $169,976 (in the Missouri case); and $278,062 (in the Ohio case), all representing proceeds Trawick had obtained as a result of his participation in the conspiracies.
Trawick pled guilty on October 5, 2011to conspiracy to dispense and distribute hydrocodone (and alprazolam in the cases charged in Missouri and Ohio), based on prescriptions issued outside the usual course of professional practice. In the cases out of Ohio and Missouri, he also pled guilty to conspiracies to commit money laundering offenses. The cases charged in Missouri and Ohio were transferred to Tampa.
According to the Tampa plea agreement, between the Fall of 2004 and October 2007, the organization that Trawick participated in was responsible for illegally distributing in excess of 50 million hydrocodone pills to customers located throughout the United States. These customers had placed orders on the various internet pill mill websites owned and operated by Trawick and others, including Juan Antonio Ibanez and Barry Robert Brooks (Ibanez and Brooks were charged previously in Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division case number 8:07-Cr-537-T-17MAP). Through these internet pill mill websites, Trawick and his co-conspirators advertised to sell hydrocodone using forms of mass marketing. Customers could access one of the websites, fill out a brief questionnaire, select the type and dosage of hydrocodone desired, and sometimes submit medical records purporting to document the medical condition for which the customer was seeking the drug. After a brief consultation with someone connected to the website, the cost of the drugs and a consultation fee would be charged to the customer's credit card.
Also according to the Tampa plea agreement, Trawick, Ibanez, Brooks and others recruited several physicians from around the country, including Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, but primarily Florida, to review the medical records and/or questionnaires. These physicians then allowed for their scanned signatures and DEA Controlled Substance Registration numbers to be used on thousands of orders purporting to be prescriptions for hydrocodone. Trawick and the others also recruited and used several independent pharmacies located in the Middle District of Florida, and elsewhere within the United States, to fill the purported prescriptions for hydrocodone and to ship the drugs to customers throughout the United States.
According to the Western District of Missouri plea agreement and other court documents, from 2005 through October 17, 2007, Trawick provided the business model, and recruited physicians, physician assistants, and pharmacies to work for pill mill websites owned and operated by co-conspirators Anthony and Arcelia Holman (charged in Western District of Missouri case number 08-03091/07-CR-s-DGK). A combined total of over one million doses of hydrocodone and alprazolam were illegally distributed via the internet.
According to the Northern District of Ohio plea agreement, from early 2005 through September 2007, Trawick conspired with James Hazelwood and numerous other coconspirators, including pharmacy owners, pharmacists and physicians, to distribute more than four million doses of powerful and addictive pain killers (hydrocodone) and any-anxiety pills (alprazolam) via the internet, to customers in Ohio and throughout the United States.
The cases were jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathy J.M. Peluso and Anita Cream (Middle District of Florida), Kathleen D. Mahoney (Western District of Missouri), and Rebecca Lutzko and Edward Feran (Northern District of Ohio).