In an unusual case, prosecutors have asked a federal judge to dismiss charges filed against a Florida doctor in 2007. When the charges were initially filed, the doctor was allegedly involved in a huge operation, in which he sold prescription medications to patients he did not examine or treat.
The doctor came under suspicion beginning in 2003 after a drugstore in Iowa was raided. The raid uncovered two companies that sold pharmaceuticals online that had "illegally sold 30 million pills to customers." Thereafter, 26 individuals associated with the companies, including 19 doctors, were convicted of crimes.
The doctor in this case was charged with "improperly authorizing thousands of prescriptions for pain pills, diet medication and other drugs," during his tenure at an internet pharmacy based in Florida.
The doctor traveled to Panama when his medical license was suspended, after Florida regulators claimed he had prescribed controlled substances to patients with Medicaid. Typically, even if an individual charged with a crime leaves the country, the charges will remain pending in case the accused returns to the United States or he or she is extradited.
Reportedly, prosecutors decided not to leave the case open because of the overwhelming amount of evidence produced during the investigation. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration indicated storing the documents was "difficult and expensive" and presented "an economic and practical hardship." The documentation involved in the case included over 400,000 paper documents and "two terabytes of electronic data." While two terabytes may be difficult to imagine, the amount is significant, as a two-terabyte memory drive could store approximately 2 million novels.
The case was dismissed with prejudice. Consequently, the charges will not be able to be filed again in the future.
Source: WDAM, "Drug charges dropped because of too much evidence," Ryan J. Foley, August 15, 2012.
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