According to the Palm Beach Post, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will brief reporters Thursday on the agency's strategy for fighting the state's prescription-drug epidemic for this year.
It's been almost one year since Florida's statewide drug enforcement strike force was created to combat "pill mills," or prescription painkiller clinics.
FDLE has helped build criminal cases against several Central Florida doctors accused of over-prescribing and needlessly prescribing powerful, addictive drugs to people who allegedly don't really need the narcotics.
FDLE has investigated pain clinics and their role in supplying prescriptions to people involved in the trafficking of substances such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and alprazolam (Xanax).
Florida's drug laws entail some very severe mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking offenses. On the high end, a person accused of possessing a certain amount of prescription pain medication without a valid prescription can face upwards of 25 mandatory years in prison.
Only the State Attorney's Office can waive the mandatory sentences. A judge is powerless to sentence a person convicted of drug trafficking to anything less than the statutory minimum.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. Attorney Eric Matheny represents clients charged with trafficking in prescription drugs. He can be reached at (305) 504-6655.