Florida Pill Mill Doc Gets 15 Years In Prison

By Shawn Dwyer 07/22/14

Zachary Rose testified against other employees, but was ultimately dubbed a con artist by a district court judge.

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In its continuing efforts to crack down on pill mills, Florida has sent another doctor to jail for a lengthy prison sentence for illegally selling prescription drugs.

Zachary Rose, 29, was given 15 years and eight months in jail after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges stemming from his ownership of three multimillion-dollar pill mill clinics in Jacksonville.

Rose initially faced 30 years, but agreed to a reduced sentence after testifying against other doctors and employees. However, the five people that Rose testified against were acquitted after defense attorneys questioned his credibility.

“I’m sorry for all the people I hurt,” Rose said to U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger as he fought back tears. “I accept responsibility for my actions.”

According to prosecutors, Rose's clinics generated roughly $9.5 million, and sold prescription drugs like oxycodone and Xanax to buyers as far away as Ohio and Kentucky. Rose claimed that he suffered from mental illness for most of his life, but Judge Schlesinger dismissed the argument. Rose has been credited three years for time served and will face six more years of supervision following his release.

Rose's conviction came about the same time Florida saw a 17% drop in overdose deaths by 2012, according to numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. That drop came after the state previously saw a 60% surge in overdoses. The CDC credited Florida's crack down on pill mill docs for the significant decrease.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.