Sunday, December 17, 2017
Public safety

St. Petersburg doctor charged with running illegal pain clinic in Citrus County

CRYSTAL RIVER — A St. Petersburg doctor who was accused in 2011 of helping operate an illegal pain clinic in Pasco County was arrested again Thursday on charges that he was doing the same thing in Citrus County.

Dr. Daniel McIntire, 57, faces two counts of trafficking in the painkiller oxycodone, Citrus County sheriff's officials said.

He and another doctor, Dennis Varel, opened Central Pain Clinic in Crystal River last year, but never registered it with the state. Varel died Jan. 10 of an apparent drug overdose, sheriff's officials said.

The clinic, which deputies had been investigating for about a year, has dispensed 1.5 million narcotic pills since it opened, authorities said, with an estimated street value of more than $12 million.

McIntire wrote as many as 172 prescriptions in a five-hour time frame — about 34 prescriptions per hour, deputies said. Patients came to the clinic from as far away as Colorado and New Jersey seeking drugs that included oxycodone, Xanax, Soma and methadone.

"This is a serious and very deadly business," Detective John Bergen, the case's lead investigator, said in a news release. "We are making these investigations our priority."

In December 2011, McIntire was among three staff members arrested at the Harbour Medical Group in Land O'Lakes on charges that they wrote excessive prescriptions for powerful drugs.

The charges against McIntire in that case were dropped about a month later, court records show. The reason is unclear.

His co-defendants in the case, Dr. William Crumbley, a Tampa doctor who allegedly ran the clinic after having his medical license suspended, and Ronald York, the clinic director, both still have court cases pending, according to records.

Charges were also dropped in what was perhaps McIntire's most serious brush with the law. In 2004, authorities in Broward County charged him with kidnapping and 11 counts of sexual battery, according to state law records. The circumstances that led to those charges were unclear Thursday, but prosecutors did not pursue the case.

Records show that McIntire had an active license to practice as an osteopathic physician in Florida. He also has a history of disciplinary action against him related to a previous conviction for fraud. The Department of Health issued an emergency suspension of his license after his arrest Thursday.

Sheriff's officials said a group of patients sat in the waiting room of McIntire's Crystal River clinic when deputies arrived Thursday. People in nearby offices cheered and clapped as detectives surrounded the building.

McIntire sat silently with his hands cuffed behind him while a deputy read aloud from a search warrant. The doctor was later booked in the Citrus County Jail and held on $200,000 bail.

Comments
Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

Murder suspect is on the run after fatally shooting a father, cops say

A first-degree murder suspect remains at large almost a week after the fatal shooting of a Winter Haven father.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Johnny Ray Owsley’s murder of 35-year-old Adam Thrower, called "Cook" by friends, involved Owsley’s e...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Published: 12/16/17
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Published: 12/16/17
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Published: 12/15/17
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Published: 12/15/17

Tampa bicyclist, 52, dies after being rear-ended by vehicle; no charges

TAMPA — A 52-year-old man riding a bicycle was killed early Friday when he was struck from behind by a car in Seminole Heights, according to Tampa police.The incident took place at about 12:15 a.m. Wayne Kersh, 52, was riding his bicycle in the eastb...
Published: 12/15/17
After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

TAMPA — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday and accused of setting fire to a vacant Ybor City bathhouse hit by arson at least two other times earlier this year.Two Tampa police officers spotted smoke from the vacant building at 1512 E Eighth Ave. a...
Published: 12/15/17

FHP: Overturned pick-up slowed traffic on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — A pick-up truck towing a car onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge overturned and crashed on the shoulder, causing back-ups for motorists trying to get to Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident was reported...
Published: 12/15/17
New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

The Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission has released a video from its undercover abuse investigation at a Central Florida dairy farmThe graphic video, with disturbing images of cows cruelly being beaten, speared, stabbed and burned, was shot by...
Published: 12/15/17

Missing Child Alert canceled for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.The case involving Heaven Flores has been resolved, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Published: 12/15/17