Detectives have used the state wide prescription drug database to find dozens who have gone to multiple doctors within a short time period for pain medication prescriptions. The practice is known as "doctor shopping."
Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives this week charged 13 suspects who were being paid to get fraudulent prescriptions filled as part of the pill mill operation. During the investigation, detectives identified and charged 12 others in crimes unrelated to the pill mill but who are "doctor shopping." A total of 25 arrest warrants have been issued.
Through their investigation, detectives learned the owner of a clinic was illegally forging prescriptions for controlled narcotics and providing them to recruiters who found others who were willing to go to pharmacies around Polk County and fraudulently get the prescriptions filled mostly for Oxycodone (OxyContin), but also some for Alprazolam (Xanax).
Once the prescriptions were filled, these recruits, also known as "smurfs," would turn the pills over in exchange for cash.