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Friday, March 4, 2016

Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

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From: "Attorney General Pam Bondi" <agnews@myfloridalegal.com>
Date: Mar 4, 2016 2:33 PM
Subject: Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
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Weekly Briefing
PROTECTING FLORIDIANS | TEXT VERSION | EN ESPAƑOL
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week, we arrested the last of several defendants in connection to a scheme to illegally sell deadly prescription drugs in Florida. My Office of Statewide Prosecution worked with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office to investigate and arrest four individuals on charges of trafficking oxycodone in Escambia, Hillsborough and Okaloosa Counties.

According to the investigation, some of the defendants sponsored patients, scheduling monthly doctor appointments and arranging and paying for patients' transportation to and from the appointments. Following the office visits, the defendants allegedly purchased the pain killers from the patients to then illegally resell the pills at a higher price.

When I took office in 2011, prescription drug abuse claimed seven lives a day in Florida. Doctors working in pill mills were writing scripts for large quantities of pain killers and immediately filling the prescriptions in their offices. Drug dealers knew this and traveled to Florida to load up on powerful prescription drugs.

Working with the Florida Legislature, Governor Rick Scott and local and state law enforcement, we immediately cracked down on these pill mills. Today, prescription drug overdose deaths have declined by more than 15 percent and oxycondone deaths are down by more than 60 percent.

While we have made great progress, our fight is far from over. Working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, our efforts to combat prescription drug trafficking continues, because one life lost to drug abuse is too many.
Pam Bondi
In The News
Man charged in Okaloosa, Escambia pill trafficking, Pensacola News Journal

Area Hospital Employees Arrested in Connection with Abuse of Patient, WCTV

PAM BONDI LAUDS PASSAGE OF RAPE KIT LEGISLATION, Florida Politics

Gov. Scott and Florida Cabinet honor fallen firefighters, Tampa Bay Times

Protecting Floridians
Three Arrested in Connection to Abuse of a Wheelchair-Bound Patient

Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office arrested three individuals in connection to
the physical abuse of a Florida State Hospital resident.

According to the investigation, Robert Blackman, 56, attempted to punch the disabled resident, shoved the resident's head down and then pushed the wheelchair-bound resident into a wall. Blackman is no longer employed at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. Two additional employees, Shabrika Butler, 27, and Janice James, 49, allegedly witnessed the abuse and did not report as required by state law. More.



Legislation to Categorically Outlaw Synthetic Drugs Passes Both Chambers

Attorney General Pam Bondi thanked the members of the Florida Senate for voting unanimously to pass SB 1528, sponsored by Senator Wilton Simpson, that will allow for categorically outlawing synthetic drugs. Florida House unanimously voted last week in favor of the companion bill HB 1347, sponsored by Representative Clay Ingram.

"Thank you Senator Simpson, Representative Ingram and all the members of our great legislature for voting to pass this life saving legislation that will allow us to categorically outlaw synthetic drugs as a whole," said Attorney General Bondi. "This legislation will help bolster our efforts to combat the growing threat of synthetic drug use, keep these dangerous drugs off store shelves and out of the hands of Florida's youth." More.


Sexual Assault Kit Testing Legislation Headed to Governor

Attorney General Pam Bondi thanked Representative Janet Adkins and the Florida House of Representatives for unanimously passing Senate Bill 636 that will help expedite the lab testing of all DNA evidence, including sexual assault kits. Last week, the entire Florida Senate voted unanimously in favor of the legislation sponsored by Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto.

"I want to thank Senator Benacquisto and Representative Adkins for sponsoring this important legislation and each member of the Florida House and Senate for voting for a safer Florida," said Attorney General Bondi. "I have seen first-hand the heartache caused by sexual predators, and this legislation is a significant step toward bringing more predators to justice and helping victims heal. This legislation will help ensure future kits are tested expediently; however, we must also work to ensure funding is made available by the end of session to begin testing the more than 13,000 unprocessed kits in our state." More.

Events
On Wednesday, Attorney General Pam Bondi joined Governor Rick Scott and fellow Cabinet members, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, for a meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee.

Attorney General Bondi introducing Rebel, a Chihuahua, at the Florida Cabinet meeting. For more information on Rebel and other rescue pets in the Tallahassee area, visit TalGov.com/Animals.




Attorney General Bondi presenting Johnny Georges and his son with a resolution recognizing Georges for his dedication to the agricultural industry. Georges appeared on ABC's Shark Tank, where he presented his invention the tree T-Pee, a water containment system. For more information, click here.




Attorney General Bondi presenting a resolution recognizing March 2016 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. David Pepping addressed the Cabinet at the meeting. For more information, click here.



Attorney General Bondi, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Suzanne Sewell,
Governor Scott, David Pepping and Pepping's job coach Willie Dawkins-Miller with Water for the Journey


Attorney General Bondi speaking at the unveiling of the new Fallen Firefighter Memorial in the Capitol Courtyard, honoring all of Florida's fallen firefighters.






Attorney General Bondi's Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Johnson, Legislative and Policy Specialist Andrew Fay and Director Public Affairs Trey Stapleton, with Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman, at Suits for Success. Suits for Success successfully collected more than 4,000 pieces of clothing this week that will be distributed to a number of organizations helping job seekers prepare for employment.




Red Swirl
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