It's well known that Florida is one of the tougher states for minimum mandatory sentencing for drug offenses. The fact is that many first-time offenders and legitimate addicts end up in prison serving lengthy sentences due to the minimum sentencing that is required for crimes categorized as trafficking. The opioid crisis and pill mills in the state have only added to the large number of people who are sent to prison every year for drug-related crimes.
A Florida Keys woman was arrested recently, charged with first-degree racketeering. According to prosecutors out of Atlantic City, NJ, she is connected with the 2012 murder of a woman whose doctor-husband was at the center of a pill mill scheme in that state. The Summerland Key resident, Beverly Augello's arrest papers mentioned, "illegal distribution of narcotics and murder." However, she was not the only one involved in the conspiracy, racketeering, and murder plots that unfolded several years ago in New Jersey.
Over the last few years, the Justice Department has charged over 400 people in what they consider the nation's largest healthcare fraud scheme as a result of an ongoing investigation affecting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals in the health industry field. Over 400 people have been indicted, spearheaded by the Medicare Fraud Strike force. Charges have been lodged in more than 41 Federal district courts, charging over 100 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. The fraud has involved over $1.3 billion, implicating individuals who perpetrated false claims and received money from Tricare or various funds or entities related to Tricare.
It's looking like 2017 was a year when crime rates dipped in the U.S. This is the preliminary news coming in from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University's School of Law. The reports indicate good news for those of us who live in areas where crime is down, as the trend is a reversal from the previous few years where crime rates were rising.