News and Press Releases

FLORIDA DOCTOR SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS FOR ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION OF OXYCODONE AT LAKE WORTH CLINIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the sentencing of Cesar Deleon, 65, a doctor from Lake Worth, for his participation in the illegal distribution of pain killers. This prosecution is part of Operation Pill Nation, a DEA-led joint investigation with local law enforcement into rogue pain clinics, also known as “pill mills,” in South Florida for illegally distributing oxycodone and other controlled substances.

On January 5, 2012, U.S. District Judge William Zloch sentenced Deleon to 87 months’ imprisonment. According to pleadings filed with the court, Deleon operated his clinic, Trinity Medical Center, as a pill mill that offered patients prescriptions for highly addictive oxycodone and other controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional medical practice. Deleon prescribed oxycodone without appropriate documentation establishing a valid medical need and in excessive and inappropriate quantities, failed to conduct complete physical examinations, and increased prescriptions of oxycodone without any medical reason or justification. Deleon also prescribed additional oxycodone and controlled substances to patients who were willing to pay Deleon higher fees.

The case against Deleon is a result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.

In addition, DEA is spearheading Operation Pill Nation, an effort to disrupt and dismantle pill mills in South Florida. Additional agencies participating in Operation Pill Nation are the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Hollywood Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida Department of Health, and Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, State Fire Marshal and Workers’ Compensation.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, as well as the many other state and local agencies involved in Operation Pill Nation. The federal case announced today is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Huynh and Shaniek Maynard.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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