It's been a busy week for the US Department of Justice. Despite the Corporate Media and the phony 'Resistance' planning mayhem in DC this weekend, the FBI and the Italian Carabinieri announced today a joint crushing of a major Opioid ring. The organization was run in the US, but financed by Italian mobsters Luca Sartini and Luigi 'Jim Boy' Palma, both of Rome. Both are in custody awaiting extradition to the U.S..
As we've seen throughout the last year of the Trump Administration, many of these drug rings were piggybacking on Obamacare, and this case was no different. The scheme ran the entire length of the Obama Administration. Essentially, the mob funded an American gangster Benjamin Rodriguez of Florida to set up fake pain clinics run by corrupt practitioners to gain access to Opioids. They were mostly set up in Knoxville, one of the national epicenters of the Opioid Epidemic.
The scheme was particularly vicious in that it deliberately targeted legitimate patients suffering from pain. The patients were prescribed Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and Morphine with the deliberate intention of addicting them. According to the indictment, the clinics laundered the profits through front-groups run by Rodriguez to the tune of at least $21 million.
According to The Knox County News, the gang distributed "billions" of Opioid drugs throughout Tennessee and that their organization has been linked to over 700 overdose deaths. The FBI itself has identified nine patients of the fake clinics whose deaths were directly tied to malpractice.
Others charged in the indictment were Sylvia Hofstetter who ran the pain clinic central to the scheme; along with Clyde Tipton and Maynard Alvarez who ran the money-laundering front-companies. This group actually got away with billing Obamacare to purchase the narcotics through fraudulent documents. Seven medical providers have also been indicted.
The Defendants are variously charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering, Narcotic Distribution Resulting in Death, Illegal Kickbacks and Defrauding Medicare.
US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions thanked all persons and agencies involved in suppressing this nest of vipers. He also added that, as a result of this investigation alone, 30 other drug traffickers have been apprehended; along with "approximately 80-90 smaller Opioid distributors". Sessions said that there are currently 35 pending indictments involving 140 people---including medical practitioners---who were also exposed during the investigation.
This case unraveled one of the worst Opioid trafficking schemes discovered so far: and it was probably the main culprit behind the severe Opioid Epidemic in East Tennessee. Keep that in mind tomorrow when we watch idiots in pink hats and black masks protesting in DC.