A Florida man stands accused in U.S. District Court in Brunswick of participating in a million dollar pill-mill conspiracy in St. Marys.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a criminal information document Sept. 29 against David J. Muyres, accusing him of running a prescription drug operation in Camden County between Oct. 9, 2014, to June 13.
The alleged scheme operated out of Coastline Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in St. Marys, where he and unnamed others hired employees — including a medical doctor — and instructed them on how to operate the pain management clinic. The document alleges customers usually paid $200-$330 for prescriptions for alprazolam, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxycodone, which were filled by pharmacies controlled by the conspirators.
Further allegations state during the 2016 calendar year, the clinic’s bank account showed more than $1.27 million in deposits. During the course of the investigation, federal authorities seized from Muyres more than $17,500 cash at a Fleming Island, Fla., residence; more than $37,600 in a Wells Fargo account; $50,000 cash, 249 assorted gold and platinum bars and coins, and three pieces of jewelry from Wells Fargo safe deposit boxes; and more than $106,000 in a Charles Schwab account.
Authorities also seized — from Ameris Bank accounts — more than $3,400 from Coastal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, $1,115 from Bayway Investors Group, more than $1,000 from Body Rebuilt Nutrition and more than $1,100 from GBDM Realty and Management. Also seized was more than $67,700 from a BB&T account belonging to Monument 9A Imaging and Diagnostic Center.
Maximum penalties for the conspiracy charge are five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.
In a separate matter, a federal grand jury indicted a D. Ray James Correctional Institution officer Sept. 6 — the third officer at the privately run facility accused of bribery in this investigation thus far. The defendant, Phillip Smith, was arraigned Tuesday.
The federal prison in Folkston is known for housing, among others, foreign nationals.
Smith allegedly received $400 on March 13 and $300 on March 22 — both in Camden County — to smuggle contraband into the facility, according to the indictment.
He made his initial appearance Sept. 27, in which the court appointed Ron Harrison of Brunswick as his attorney. He was released under a $20,000 surety bond.
As earlier reported by The News, the grand jury also issued indictments Sept. 6 of fellow corrections officers Tyre Holzendorf and Glynn Allen Sea for bribery, and they made their initial appearances and arraignments Sept. 27. Smith was a late addition to the court calendar during the Sept. 27 appearances.
The court appointed Keith Higgins of Brunswick to represent Holzendorf, while Sea hired Vidalia attorney Duston Tapley Jr. to represent him. Both Holzendorf and Sea are on pretrial release under $15,000 surety bonds. Though all three men were indicted at the same time and their cases are moving on similar tracks. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the defendants individually — not as a group.
The maximum penalties for each count of bribery are 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and the $100 mandatory special assessment fee. Motions hearings for Holzendorf and Sea are Nov. 7, and Smith’s motions hearing is Nov. 21.