The New Port Richey pharmacist who was federally indicted in connection with a large oxycontin-distribution ring is the brother-in-law of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.
Authorities say Edward Beckles, the 59-year-old owner and operator of Ed's Family Friendly Pharmacy, was providing prescription pain medication to two drug rings that operated between Florida and Kentucky. Beckles also dispensed pills to at least one woman in return for sex, authorities said.
Beckles is married to Carroll's sister, and upon his arrest he let federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents know of his powerful sister-in-law who knew nothing of the case or his activities.
"Lt. Gov. Carroll is not familiar with Mr. Beckles' arrest or his business practices and she has never visited his pharmacy," the Governor's Office said in a written statement. "She is surprised and saddened that this has happened to her sister's family."
Beckles' arrest is another recent unwelcome headline for Carroll.
A former aide accused Carroll, who is married, of being involved in a lesbian relationship with another aide, a claim Carroll vehemently denied to the point of making comments that suggested attractive black women don't engage in homosexual relationships. She later apologized for the remark.
The former aide who made the claims, Carletha Cole, is facing a trial for illegally disclosing conversations recorded when Cole worked for Carroll.
Beckles was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone while acting outside the course of professional practice. He faces 20 years for each charge.