Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater man accused of doctor shopping to obtain thousands of pain pills

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man is accused of obtaining more than 2,000 pain pills since the start of the year in an elaborate and widespread doctor shopping case, authorities said.

Marc A. Jones of 506 Bough Ave. was arrested on Wednesday — his 41st birthday — and charged with 25 counts of doctor shopping.

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office had been investigating Jones since they received a tip at the end of April that he might be getting prescriptions illegally.

They found that Jones made emergency appointments at dental offices, saying he was in extreme pain and needed to be seen right away, according to a news release. When Jones arrived for the appointment, he would tell the dentist he was in too much pain to stay, and would ask for narcotics. He would then reschedule the appointment, but not show up.

Over the course of the past few months, detectives said they received several similar complaints.

Jones used the same scam on some medical doctors, the Sheriff's Office said.

Detectives learned that Jones had been seen by 21 dentists and 18 physicians since January. In all, Jones received at least 240 diazepam pills, 1,991 hydrocodone pills, and 905 oxycodone pills since January.

The Sheriff's Office said Jones wrote worthless checks from a closed bank account to many of the dentists and physicians.

Detectives contacted officials at the Pinellas Dentistry Association and asked them to notify local dentists about the scam. The association put out an alert with Jones' picture.

On Wednesday, a local dentist called the Sheriff's Office and said Jones had an appointment in his office Wednesday morning. Detectives went to the office and arrested Jones without incident, the Sheriff's Office said.

Jones allowed investigators to search his vehicle, where they found and seized multiple prescription bottles, prescriptions and his checkbook.

Investigators said drug trafficking charges are pending.

The Sheriff's Office said the case was "the most egregious doctor shopping investigation in the history of the Pinellas County Strategic Diversion Task Force," which investigates the diversion of legal drugs for illegal purposes.

>>Fast facts

Other incidents?

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office think other incidents may not have been reported. They ask that anyone with information call the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division at (727) 582-2828.

Clearwater man accused of doctor shopping to obtain thousands of pain pills 08/24/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 7:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Boy, 9, hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A 9-year-old boy was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]