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Justice News

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pill Mill Doctor Found Guilty

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that following a 14-day trial, a federal jury yesterday found Ronald John Heromin (58, Brandon) guilty of conspiracy to distribute and dispense Oxycodone and Alprazolam, not for legitimate medical purposes, and not in the usual course of professional practice. Heromin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, the forfeiture of his Florida Medical License, his DEA Registration and money seized during the investigation. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 24, 2014.

Heromin was indicted on October 26, 2011.

According to evidence presented at trial, from late 2009 through October of 2011, Heromin was the prescribing physician at several pain management clinics in the Tampa Bay and Miami areas, including Gulfshore Pain Management on Habana Avenue, the Tampa Bay Medical Center on Himes Avenue, and the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre on Martin Luther King Boulevard, in Tampa; the Hope for Life Wellness Center in Miami, and the St. Mary’s Medical Institute in Hialeah, Florida. During that time, Heromin issued thousands of prescriptions for very large doses of Oxycontin, Oxycodone and Alprazolam, to drug addicts and members of doctor shopping organizations who often traveled hundreds of miles from as far away as Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to obtain the prescriptions. Over 500,000 Oxycodone pills and 230,000 Alprazolam pills, prescribed by Heromin during that time, were filled at a single pharmacy (“VIP Pharmacy”) on Martin Luther King Boulevard, in Tampa. Owners and operators of the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre and the VIP Pharmacy have previously been convicted of federal conspiracy and money laundering charges.  

This case was investigated by a Joint Task Force, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tampa Police Department, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Lakeland Police Department, and the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathy J.M. Peluso.

Updated January 26, 2015