Michael B. Cohen, Esq is a Criminal Defense Attorney specializing in federal crimes as well as the defense of state charges such as drug cases, fraud, and all associated criminal matters. He maintains two offices in South Florida and a separate office located in the New York Metropolitan area.
You can follow his twitter feed to read similar diversified blog posts. His South Florida website can be found at https://www.southflalaw.com and his New York City site can be accessed at: http://www.nyfederalattorney.com
Many experts have stated that the current opioid crisis that has galloped rapidly throughout the United States can be attributed to pharmaceutical companies convincing the medical populace as a whole, that patients would not develop an addiction to the opioid pain relievers they manufactured. This resulted in what many believe is the starting point when healthcare providers began to prescribe them at higher rates.
This elevated prescription of their medications led to far-reaching misuse of both non-prescription as well as prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could undeniably be highly addictive.
Calamitous ramifications of this latest opioid epidemic include escalations in opioid misuse and similar overdoses, as well as the spiraling prevalence of new born children experiencing withdrawal syndrome as a result of opioid use and misuse during pregnancies.
The Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency toward the end of 2017. Since that announcement was made the problem seemingly has only worsened with no sure-fire remedy demonstrated by the government agency.
In South Florida there have been many arrests of doctors and other healthcare professionals for over-prescribing these drugs to the public as well as by other individuals offering them through illicit means.
A recent case of this type surfaced in late March of this year when a Pompano Beach woman was arrested on thirty-nine counts of writing prescriptions for more than one hundred doses each of Percocet, Xanax, Oxycodone and other pills, some of them opiates and opioid analgesics.
The arrest warrant was filed on February 17 against Latoya Shameka Robinson for the third degree felony. It has been charged that during November 2017 and July 2018 Robinson who worked as a medical assistant at the Broward Community and Family Health center in Pompano Beach allegedly wrote the prescriptions.
Robinson allegedly was supplied the names of people pursuing the medications and wrote prescriptions, usually for a cost of $100 each, based on the arrest report. The person who supplied the names to Robinson hasn’t been released at this point of the investigation, according to court documents.
She has been charged with thirty-nine occurrences of unlawful uttering/possessing prescription for controlled substances. On April 5 her bail was set at $39,000, the equivalent to $1000 per count. Three days later her bond was posted by various individuals and she was released pending trial.
A court date was mailed to her attorney on May 1 and the court date for arraignment had been set for this past week at the Broward County (Felony Central) Courthouse. It has since been rescheduled for June 10, 2019 at the Broward County Courthouse, Judicial Complex to be heard before Judge Michael Lynch.
“This does not appear to be an isolated incident,” said the assistant Broward state attorney at Robinson’s first court appearance… She wrote at least 140 prescriptions during the time period to numerous people, many who were not even patients of the facility she worked at.”
Robinson confessed to the crimes when she met with investigators saying she did it for the reason of her personal financial difficulties.
She accepted responsibility to investigators by admitting to writing the bogus prescriptions without the consent of any doctor or the health care facility worker.
This article will be updated as further developments occur.
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Michael B. Cohen is an established Fort Lauderdale based Criminal Defense Attorney specializing in the defense of all criminal allegations.