Police Arrest "Pill Mill" Owners, Doctor and Employee

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LOCATION: JW Wellness 233 W. Waters Avenue, Tampa, Florida (Search Warrant 8/16/11)

SUSPECT: Wade Leath DOB: 10/13/74, B/M, 703 E. Emily Street, Tampa, Florida (Owner and Manager of JW Wellness)

SUSPECT: Jason George Bliebtrey, DOB: 1/21/80, W/M, Incarcerated at Suwannee Correctional Institute (Owner of JW Wellness)

SUSPECT: Dr. Paul Awa, DOB: 6/2/52, A/M, 223 Lee Street, Oldsmar, Florida (worked as Doctor at JW Wellness until the 8-16-11 search warrant, arrested today at Main Street Medical, 10802 Main St #B Thonotosassa, Florida)

SUSPECT: Evette Marie Cabado, DOB: 12/22/90, H/F, 300 North Street, Tampa, Florida (JW Wellness Employee)

SUSPECT: Edward James Smith, DOB: 8/15/76, W/M, 4512 101 Street West, Bradenton, Florida (Sponsor who recruited patients for the clinic-in Manatee County Jail)

SUSPECT: Trevor Kyle Mercer, DOB: 7/14/82, W/M, 6923 11th Avenue NW, Bradenton, Florida (Sponsor who recruited patients for the clinic-in Manatee County Jail)

SUSPECT: Jeremy R. Paul, DOB: 5/19/77, W/M, 5318 17th Street W. Bradenton, Florida (Sponsor who recruited patients for the clinic-in Manatee County Jail)


CHARGES: RICO Violation, Conspiracy to Commit RICO and Conspiracy to Traffic in a Controlled Substance

Based on citizen complaints and undercover operations by law enforcement agencies, it was determined that the pain management clinic, JW Wellness, was operating as a pill mill. During the investigation, Narcotic Detectives arrested 14 suspects who were illegally obtaining and selling Oxycodone. As a result of interviews and evaluating treatments given to undercover detectives, a search warrant was executed on 8/16/11. Detectives seized all the medical records in the clinic. Investigators analyzed the files of 79 patients and determined that prescriptions for more than 31,000 pills of Oxycodone were issued along with prescriptions for approximately 6,000 Xanax pills.

The clinic accepted fraudulent MRI's and pharmaceutical histories allowing clientele to illegally obtain Oxycodone and Xanax prescriptions. As traffickers became aware that the staff at JW Wellness prescribed Oxycodone and Xanax illegally, sponsors began recruiting others to act as patients in order to obtain trafficking amounts of Oxycodone and Xanax. The investigation disclosed the sponsors were providing pills to the illegal drug market in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, and Sarasota County.

Following the search warrant at JW Wellness, Dr. Awa began working at another Pain Management Clinic by the name of Main Street Medical in Thonotosassa, Florida. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement executed a search warrant at the facility on 11/2/11 and its investigation is ongoing. Multiple agencies participated in the execution of the search warrant at Main Street Medical, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Agency, Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Health. The United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force assisted in the arrests of the sponsors in Bradenton, Florida.

Today's arrests should send a clear message that prescription drug trafficking in Florida will not be tolerated," said Attorney General Pam Bondi. "I am grateful to the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their dedication to protecting Floridians from prescription drug abuse."

Laura McElroy