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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty To Drug And Money Laundering Offenses

Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Jorge Otano (53, Cape Coral) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone, and distributing the drug outside the usual course of professional practice for other than legitimate medical purposes. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit structuring, evading a currency-transaction reporting requirement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and the distribution charges, up to 5 years in federal prison for the conspiracy to commit structuring charge, and a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment for each of the evading currency-transaction reporting, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering offenses.

According to court documents, from August 2009 to November 15, 2012, St. Jude’s Pharmacy in Cape Coral was owned and operated by Otano and his wife, Martha. During that period, the pharmacy made a significant profit by filling fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone and charging $4.00 to $12.00 per pill.

From April 2011 to November 15, 2012, the Otanos made structured cash deposits of the proceeds of the illegal narcotics sales into a domestic financial institution. They knew that the money obtained from the sale of oxycodone through the pharmacy was the proceeds of unlawful narcotics distribution.  They used drug proceeds to purchase two residences in Cape Coral, a 2012 Chevrolet truck, and a 2013 Mercedes Benz vehicle.

Martha Otano previously pleaded guilty for her role in this case.  She was sentenced on July 21, 2014, to three years and one month in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David G. Lazarus and Yolande G. Viacava.

Prescription Drugs
Updated February 13, 2015