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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Florida Man Sentenced in Pill Mill Case

BRUNSWICK, GA – Marc Victor Frazier, 45, from Satellite, Florida, was sentenced in United States District Court on September 19, 2016, to 44 months in prison. Frazier’s prison term will be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Appearing before Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, Frazier was sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to unlawfully dispense controlled substances and launder money. Frazier was also ordered to forfeit more than $500,000 in assets, all of which were proceeds of his unlawful activity.

The evidence showed that Frazier was the owner and organizer of Apex Health & Wellness, Inc., a supposed “pain management clinic,” from a building located at 6129 New Jesup Highway, Brunswick, Georgia. Between November 2011 and April 24, 2013, drug-seeking customers typically paid between $200 and $300 cash to Apex Health & Wellness, in exchange for prescriptions for controlled substances issued outside the usual course of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose. The clinic employed Paul Spencer Ruble, a licensed and registered medical doctor, to work at the clinic. (Ruble pleaded guilty to a similar charge on August 22, 2016 and is pending sentencing.) An average of 30 drug seeking patients were seen per day at the clinic during its 17 months of operation. A typical patient could expect to receive a prescription for 168 oxycodone 30 mg tablets, 112 oxycodone 15 mg tablets, and 28 to 56 2 mg alprazolam tablets. During the conspiracy, more than 400 deposits were made to the bank account of Apex Health & Wellness. These deposits totaled more than $1.8 million, including cash deposits of over $1.7 million. Apex Health & Wellness was permanently closed on April 24, 2013, when a federal search warrant was executed at the premises.

The convictions in this matter resulted from a joint investigation by the DEA, GBI, Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team (GBNET), IRS - Criminal Investigations, and the United States Marshals Service. The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the keystone drug enforcement program of the Department of Justice.

United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, “This defendant profited handsomely from exploiting drug addicted individuals who came to his sham pain clinic. We have demonstrated time and again that persons who operate pill mills in the Southern District of Georgia can expect to be investigated, prosecuted, and stripped of their assets, the same as other drug traffickers in the Southern District of Georgia. The menace posed by these clinics cannot be understated. As I have previously noted, the heroin epidemic which is sweeping many parts of the country can be directly traced to the drug prescribing practices of these phony medical clinics where the owners and doctors prosper and the patents suffer grievously.”

Assistant United States Attorneys Karl Knoche, Greg Gilluly, and Marcela Mateo prosecuted the case for the government. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated September 23, 2016