The Sun Sentinel reports that an appeals court has thrown out drug trafficking charges against two Broward County men who obtained excessive amounts of pain pills by visiting multiple doctors.
Prosecutors believe the men planned to sell the pills or give them to drug dealers.
Each man had received a one-month supply of oxycodone from one doctor, and then received a second prescription days later. Both men neglected to inform the physicians of the drugs they had received, and could be charged with witholding information from a doctor — also known as doctor shopping.
However, the court said the men had valid prescriptions and would not be charged with drug trafficking. Doctor shopping is considered a lesser offense that usually results in probation rather than a prison sentence.
Prosecutors hoped the men would be charged with drug trafficking in order to help quell South Florida’s many pill mills.
“It’s obviously a big deal for us,” Sgt. Rich Pisanti of a Broward Sheriff’s Office pill mill unit told the Sentinel. “That means you can go to 100 doctors and get 1,000 pills and only be charged with doctor shopping?”