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SOURCE Joyce & Reyes Law Firm
Critics contend Florida's pill mill crackdown puts dealers behind bars but lets physicians off easy.
TAMPA, Fla., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Two recent cases – one involving a street-level dealer of painkillers, the other a pair of Florida doctors – serves to illustrate the frequent disparity in punishments.
Tampa personal injury lawyer Robert Joyce commented, "Physicians are a key component in Florida's pill mill epidemic. Authorities should make sure strong deterrents are in place to dissuade participants in every part of the cycle, from doctors to street dealers to drug abusers."
In June 2010, police arrested Margaret Schoendorf after she sold 47 prescription painkiller pills to an Orange County officer in an undercover sting. The same day, in an unrelated case, authorities arrested two physicians, Michael Moyer and Roman Mosai, on charges they were illegally trafficking painkillers from their offices in Central Florida.
Schoendorf received a sentence of two years behind bars, but the doctors will serve only probation for racketeering, not prison time, after pleading no contest.
Mr. Joyce added, "Prosecutors run the risk of sending a mixed message in their efforts to combat drug abuse if dealers receive harsher punishments than doctors."
Moyer and Mosai were arrested in one of the earliest big pill mill investigations in Florida's recent crackdown. Authorities allege they gave undercover officers prescriptions for hydrocodone after the officers posed as patients and gave bogus complaints that they suffered minor pain.
Mosai was sentenced to 20 years' probation. Moyer is soon to be sentenced to up to 15 years' probation.
Critics allege that similar cases are all too common and reinforce the notion that those with money can get away with crime. Drug dealers on the street usually cannot afford expensive defense attorneys.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Kenneth Nunn, a law professor at the University of Florida said that throughout society, high-status individuals get better treatment than everyday people, and the criminal justice system is no exception.
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