Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doctor arrested in what investigators say was worst pill mill in Pinellas

PINELLAS PARK — Authorities on Thursday arrested a doctor they said was filling out the prescriptions in the largest, most flagrant pill mill in Pinellas County history.

After a nearly two-year investigation, Dr. Jacinta Irene Gillis was arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.

Authorities say Gillis was operating pill mills from her Dollar Medical Clinics at 4427 Park Blvd. in Pinellas Park and in Lehigh Acres in Lee County.

Discussing the investigation for the first time Thursday, Pinellas County sheriff's detectives painted a picture of abuse:

Over two years, Gillis, 41, deposited $1.3 million in cash in seven bank accounts and appeared to pay employees in cash. She scheduled five patients every 15 minutes, commonly seeing more than 60 patients a day, some by webcam. She presigned prescriptions. She had no other doctors, nurses or physician assistants, and many of her employees had criminal records.

"She was not practicing medicine per se," said Pinellas sheriff's Capt. Robert Alfonso of the narcotics division.

Gillis previously talked to a Fort Myers television station about allegations that she was running a pill mill and said: "I've never been near any of these illegal activities. The only things I have are my practices, which are legit. I've been victimized by the war against drugs."

Authorities first raided her clinics in October. The Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services Department cited her for operating a pain management clinic without a license.

In 33 patient records seized that day — a snapshot of her operation, deputies said — authorities found that patients got 106,929 opioid pills and 29,890 methadone pills. Oxycodone was the most commonly prescribed drug. Moreover, deputies said, every patient received prescription drugs.

Deputies cited numerous other issues that called into question her medical practices. Most patients interviewed by detectives said they had received an exam, but that the exam measured nothing more than flexibility, blood pressure and weight.

Gillis was booked into the Lee County Jail. Bail was set at $1 million.

Doctor arrested in what investigators say was worst pill mill in Pinellas 04/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.