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Narcotics Detectives Execute Search Warrant At Two Local Pharmacies

Release Number:  11-288

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Countywide Diversion Task Force

St. Petersburg Police Department

Clearwater Police Department

Florida Department of Health

What:  Narcotics detectives have executed a search warrant at two local pharmacies after an investigation revealed possible multiple violations in the sale of the drug Suboxone to a local doctor. Suboxone is used to treat addiction to opiates.

Where:  The search warrants were executed at Park Drugs located at 4451 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park and at Pinellas Specialty Pharmacy located at 3535 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.

When:  The search warrants were executed at about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.

How/Why: 

According to detectives, on July 27, 2011, the Department of Health conducted a random inspection at a physician’s office in St. Petersburg. DOH’s investigation revealed that the physician, Mehul Shah of Anchor Medical located at 1111 7th Avenue North in St. Petersburg was not in compliance with state regulations that require a doctor to maintain the proper paperwork relating to the purchase of the drug Suboxone.

 The DOH subsequently requested the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office to further investigate the matter.

 Through their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office Countywide Diversion Task Force was able to identify two local pharmacies (identified above) that were selling Suboxone to the physician; and determined that the pharmacies did not meet the licensing requirements for the sale of this drug. 

On Tuesday, December 06, 2011 at about 9:30 a.m. Narcotics Unit detectives simultaneously executed search warrants at the two pharmacies. Detectives seized records and other items of evidence from the two locations.

No arrests have been made at this time.

The investigation continues.

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