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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Distributing Opioids at His Pain Management Clinic

Miami, Florida – A Florida man pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawfully distributing opioids at his pain management clinic in Miami, Florida.

According to court documents, Habib Geagea Palacios, 40, of Miami, owned a cash-only pain management clinic in Miami, Florida named General Care Center, Inc.  At General Care Center, Palacios paid doctors to prescribe opioids to nearly all patients who visited the clinic, resulting in the illegal distribution of more than two million tablets of Oxycodone 30 mg and generating more than $3 million in cash that was deposited into various bank accounts associated with the clinic and Palacios.  Five doctors who worked at General Care Center have already pleaded guilty in connection with their unlawful prescribing practices at the clinic. 

Palacios pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of distributing a controlled substance.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter of the DEA Miami Field Division; and Special Agent in Charge Brian Swain of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

HHS-OIG, FBI, DEA, and USSS are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Larsen of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Alexander Thor Pogozelski of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution 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 principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, and other priority transnational criminal organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence driven, multi-agency approach to combat transnational organized crime.  The OCDETF program facilitates complex, joint operations by focusing its partner agencies on priority targets, by managing and coordinating multi-agency efforts, and by leveraging intelligence across multiple investigative platforms.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Marlene Rodriguez Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Public Affairs Officer USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov
Updated November 17, 2021