FDLE: Havana Car Dealer Suspected Leader of Pill Mill

By  | 

Havana, FL - Four more people are now under arrest in a statewide oxycodone trafficking ring. That operation stretched from the bustling city of Miami to the small town of Havana.

J.W. Auto sales is now closed. FDLE says the owner of the car dealership used it to launder drug money.

James Wooden - of Havana - was among the first arrested in the pill mill bust. That total has now climbed to 19.

John Lucas, FL, Attorney General's Spokesman, stated, "what's important is it involved people from the top to the bottom. From the people writing the prescriptions to the people dispensing to even those out on the street making the transactions."

The investigation began when pharmacies reported getting prescriptions from a doctor who had already died. FDLE agents discovered an oxycodone trafficking ring that included doctor shoppers, traffickers and folks financing the operation.

12 people were arrested in June. Three more in July. The four arrested this week are accused of running an unlicensed pain management clinic.

Gretl Plesinger, FDLE spokeswoman, stated, "these doctor shoppers were able to go to the Med One Care Center in Miami and get oxycodone prescriptions without an examination and then go then they were able to go to Brother's pharmacy and get oxycodone, the actual pills, without any checks."

Agents estimate the ring has brought more than 19,000 oxycodone pills to North Florida

A statewide prosecutor is handling the case. The men and women are slated to stand trial in Miami. A date for that hasn't been set.

Havana, FL, June 22, 2012 - A Havana man is being held on 1.2 million dollars bond in the wake of his arrest Thursday.

FDLE Spokeswoman Gretl Plesinger says 51 year old James Wooden is the leader of that oxycodone trafficking ring. They claim he financed it, recruited for it and laundered money through his seafood restaurant in Havana and his now-closed auto shop in Tallahassee.

"James Wooden was the leader of this organization. He financed it. He was one of the people that recruited and trained doctor shoppers," Plesinger said. "We believe that Wooden laundered money and financed his pill operation through his businesses in Havana and Tallahassee."

Plesinger says agents served search warrants at Wooden's home on Deer Ridge Circle Thursday as well as at Wooden's Seafood restaurant on Highway 27 in Havana.

No one wanted to comment when we stopped by the restaurant this morning.

J.W. Auto Sales at 2425 Springhill Road is now closed. It's at the intersection of Springhill and Lake Bradford Road, right across the street from an elementary school.

Arrest papers say Wooden will eventually be transported to Dade County to face trafficking, racketeering, money laundering and prescription fraud charges.

FDLE says more arrests are expected.

FDLE Release

Tallahassee, FL, June 21, 2012- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Miami and Tallahassee Regional Operations Centers, the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor and the Hollywood Police Department announce the arrests of twelve individuals linked to a yearlong statewide pill mill investigation.
The investigation started in May of 2011 and involved organized doctor shopping and drug trafficking in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Authorities allege doctor shoppers worked under the direction of Frank Wooden Sr. of Lake Worth Florida. Wooden, they believe, gathered the pills purchased in South Florida and later transported them to Georgia and north Florida to sell.

Investigators allege the group obtained approximately 19,000 oxycodone pills over the course of the investigation which began when agents were contacted by pharmacies that had received prescriptions from a deceased physician.

Authorities believe that monies from these illegal narcotic sales were laundered by James Wooden through his business, J.W. Auto Sales, in Havana, Fla.

The following individuals have been arrested and are charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, first-degree money laundering, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud:

Frank Wooden, 57, of Lake Worth, Fla.

James Wooden, 51, of Havana, Fla.

John Wooden, 65, of Albany, Ga.

Janice Cain, 48, of Miami

Phillis Scott, 58, of Miami

Frank Wooden Jr., 36, of Miami

Harriet Johnson, 50, of Miami

Albert Wiggins, 48, of Miami

Zenobia Mercer, 54, of Miami

Sylvester Wooden, 55, of Homestead

A warrant has been issued for Peggy Nealy, 53, of Miami.

Raymond Bowleg, 49, of Miami Gardens was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering and one count of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.

The investigation remains ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated. The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

For Further Information Contact:

Gretl Plessinger, Keith Kameg or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus