A recent 7-month investigation in South Florida focused on drug dealing and prescription drugs ended with multiple arrests of employees of West Palm Beach Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Others arrested were on veterans disability. The investigation targeted both VA employees as well as veterans.
Over the course of the operation, undercover investigators bought narcotics from 21 separate people inside the West Palm Beach VA medical center. Those drugs were purchased from VA employees, veterans, and others associated with both employees and veterans. The operation was a joint effort between:
- the State Attorney’s Office;
- the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office;
- the VA; and
- the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) – Criminal Investigations Division (CID).
The investigation was launched out of a tip from the VA OIG about veterans selling their prescriptions. Additionally, there were drugs flowing into the VA from the street, and those were being sold on the VA property as well. In the end, those arrested ranged from people working in laundry rooms, to respiratory therapists, to pharmacy technicians.
Investigators were able to arrest 14 people initially, which lead to a total of 18 people being held in custody. Warrants were issued for at least 3 other suspects. In addition to 2 vehicles, investigators seized approximately 6,000 oxycodone pills and upwards of $200,000 in cash.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.