Once again, a Pompano Beach, Florida medical center has been found to be a Pill Mill. After an 18 month investigation, the DEA Miami Division Office arrested Dr. Willem Ouw, 84, a licensed physician, at his office, the Medical Center of North Broward, 38 NE 20th Ave., Pompano Beach, Florida. Dr. Ouw was indicted on 10 counts of Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Distribution of Oxycodone, the day before his arrest, June 15, 2017. DEA agents also requested and received an indictment on the property owned by Dr.

Ouw in Florida and New Jersey, which was estimated to have a value of over $1.5 million.

Undercover agents obtain the goods

According to the investigation report, Dr. Willem Ouw and his staff met with undercover operatives who were seeking and received prescriptions for controlled substances without proper medical examinations more than once. The three medical staffers, Sarah Shoopman, 36, Donna Licata, 62, and Belafonte Byard, 50, participated in the transactions by directing the patients on what to do and took cash payments on behalf of. Dr Ouw. All three were charged with one count of conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance without authorization by law. Each of them could face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years imprisonment if found guilty.

Doctor's pill mill pays big time

Miami CBS reported that the investigation determined that Dr Ouw and his medical staff prescribed over 400,000 pills through prescriptions of Oxycodone which had an estimated value of $10 million. It was also found that Dr Ouw prescribed, without any medical reason, over 16,000 amphetamine tablets and 64,000 morphine pills.

Ouw surrendered his medical license and DEA registration to authorities and federal agents following his arrest.

Crackdown years ago

Pompano Beach in South Florida was an area known for its pill mills until about seven years ago when there was a crackdown on doctors and clinic owners who were dealing in this illegal market. In 2012, six doctors were arrested after DEA investigated the Pompano Beach Medical clinic for two years and undercover agents acquired a total of 55 prescriptions.

This was said to be just one of the 40 clinics that ran pill mills in South Florida. Agents that year arrested a total of 80 people, 22 of them were doctors.

In 2015 DEA partnered with local officials in an investigation that led to the arrest of a Pompano doctor and seven other people for running a pain clinic as a pill mill that caused the death of eight people through overdose. This investigation crossed state lines because pills are cheap in South Florida and are sold illegally in other states at up to five times the price..