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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pill Mill Doctor Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington today sentenced Ronald John Heromin (58, Brandon) to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and dispense Oxycodone and Alprazolam not for legitimate medical purposes and not in the usual course of professional practice. The Court also ordered Heromin to forfeit his Florida Medical License; his DEA Registration to prescribe controlled substances; $25,437.00 in U.S. currency; and monthly disability payments, totaling approximately $15,000.00 per month, during the period of his incarceration, as a substitute asset for his money judgment, which the Court entered in the amount of $1,952,563.00, representing the amount of proceeds the defendant obtained as a result of his participation in the conspiracy. Heromin was found guilty by a federal jury on April 17, 2014.

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 Blvd., in Tampa; and the Hope for Life Wellness Center in Miami and the St. Mary’s Medical Institute in Hialeh, Florida. During that time, Heromin issued thousands of prescriptions for very large doses of Oxycontin, Oxydondone 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 get prescriptions for these highly addictive opiate pain medications. Over 500,000 Oxycodone pills and 230,000 Alprazolam pills prescribed by Heromin during that time were filled at a single pharmacy, the VIP Pharmacy on Martin Luther King Blvd., 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 Attorneys Kathy J.M. Peluso.

Updated January 26, 2015