Two Doctors Charged with Oxycodone-Related Deaths Resulting from Broward and Palm Beach Counties Pill Mill Operation
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the filing of a Second Superseding Indictment charging Cynthia Cadet, 42, of Parkland, FL, and Joseph Castronuovo, 72, of Key Largo, FL, both doctors, with dispensing oxycodone and other controlled substances that resulted in the death of nine individuals, among other offenses. The charges stem from Operation Oxy Alley, a coordinated investigation into pill mills in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In August 2011, thirty-two defendants, including Cadet and Castronuovo, were charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and other offenses. Twenty-eight defendants have entered guilty pleas and been sentenced in connection with the August 2011 Indictment.
The August 2011 Indictment alleged that defendants Christopher and Jeffrey George, twin brothers, operated, managed and financed four pain management clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. According to the original August 2011 Indictment, today’s second superseding indictment and statements made in court, from 2007 to early 2010, these pill mills distributed approximately 20 million oxycodone pills and made more than $40 million from the illegal sales of controlled substances. Thirteen of the thirty-two defendants were doctors, including Cadet and Castronuovo.
The second superseding indictment charges Cadet and Castronuovo with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances (punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment) and money laundering conspiracy (punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment). Cadet is also charged with dispensing oxycodone and other controlled substances that resulted in the death of seven individuals (each count punishable by up to life imprisonment) and conspiracy to unlawfully distribute steroids (punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment). Castronuovo is also charged with dispensing oxycodone and other controlled substances that resulted in the death of two individuals, and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone to persons under the age of twenty-one (punishable by up to forty years’ imprisonment). The defendants are expected to be arraigned on the new charges in West Palm Beach next week.
The investigation and prosecution was the result of work by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The FBI, DEA, IRS-CID were assisted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Hollywood Police Department, the Boca Raton Police Department, and the Davie Police Department. Coordination efforts also included cooperation by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office and the Delray Beach Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, Medley Police Department, Homestead Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, and Sunny Isles Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul F. Schwartz and Lawrence D. LaVecchio.
Operation Oxy Alley 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.
Superseding Indictment (PDF)
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.