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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
Crime & Courts

Brandon doctor gets 20 years in pill mill case

TBO.com staff
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A Brandon doctor was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison on pill mill charges, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said.

Ronald John Heromin, 58, was convicted in federal court on April 17 of conspiracy to distribute and dispense Oxycodone and Alprazolam not for legitimate medical purposes and not in the usual course of professional practice.

Heromin also was ordered to forfeit his Florida medical license, his DEA registration to prescribe controlled substances and $25,437, Bentley said. He was also ordered to forfeit monthly disability payments, totaling approximately $15,000 a month, during his incarceration, as a substitute asset for his money judgment.

A money judgment of $1,952,563, the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of Heromin’s participation in the conspiracy, also was ordered, Bentley said.

According to trial evidence, Heromin was the prescribing physician at several pain management clinics, including Tampa’s Gulfshore Pain Management on Habana Avenue, the Tampa Bay Medical Center on Himes Avenue, and the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard; Miami’s Hope for Life Wellness Center; and Hialeah’s St. Mary’s Medical Institute.

In his position, Heromin issued thousands of prescriptions for large doses of Oxycontin, Oxydondone and Alprazolam to drug addicts and members of doctor-shopping organizations, who often traveled from as far away as Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, Bentley said

More than 500,000 Oxycodone pills and 230,000 Alprazolam pills prescribed by Heromin were filled at one pharmacy, the VIP Pharmacy on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Tampa.

Owners and operators of the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre and the VIP Pharmacy have been convicted of federal conspiracy and money laundering charges, Bentley said.

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.

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