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Authorities search doctor's home, clinics they suspect as pill mills

PINELLAS PARK — In the government's latest skirmish against prescription drug abuse, authorities Tuesday served search warrants at two medical clinics and a doctor's home as part of an 11-month investigation.

But the doctor at the center of the investigation, Jacinta Gillis, was not arrested, and no charges were filed stemming from allegations that she was running a pill mill.

Authorities executed the search warrants at Dollar Medical Clinic, 4427 and 4429 Park Blvd. in Pinellas Park, Dollar Medical Clinic at 904 Lee Blvd. in Lehigh Acres, and Gillis' home in Fort Myers.

The purpose of Tuesday's warrants, part of "Operation Dollar Dollar," was to gather information as part of the ongoing investigation, said Pinellas sheriff's Capt. Robert Alfonso. The investigation's name derived from the two Dollar clinics that were being investigated.

"We feel very comfortable that this is going to be a perfect example of a pill mill," he said.

Alfonso acknowledged it's more challenging to get convictions when prosecuting doctors in such cases.

"We want to be sure we put the best case forward," Alfonso said.

The investigation followed several complaints that Gillis was operating pill mills, deputies said.

Deputies said Gillis was notified the clinic was violating the Pinellas County Pain Management Ordinance. The Dollar Medical Clinic in Pinellas Park will be permanently closed, deputies said.

Besides the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, authorities from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Attorney General, the Department of Health, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pinellas County Consumer Affairs Office were involved.

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Authorities search doctor's home, clinics they suspect as pill mills 10/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 2:58pm]
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