A 48-year-old doctor was arrested last Tuesday following a year-long investigation into a Key Largo woman’s opioid overdose death last year.
Dr. Marta Elena Farinas was charged with manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic Oxycodone and delivery of Oxycodone.
The investigation into Dr. Farinas began with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit following the March 13, 2018 death of 35-year-old Leigh Anne Milazzo, formerly of 60 Bonefish Avenue, Key Largo.
Autopsy results showed Milazzo died of an overdose of Oxycodone and Alprazolam, both of which were prescribed by Dr. Farinas. Responding Deputies found a large amount of prescription pill bottles and pills at Milazzo’s residence, including evidence that Dr. Farinas was prescribing 180 Oxycodone pills a month to Milazzo on top of a litany of other prescription drugs.
Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit Detectives acquired a cell phone
belonging to Milazzo that contained text messages between Milazzo and Dr. Farinas, in which they both describe sharing the pills prescribed by Dr. Farinas and meeting at various locations to exchange pills. According to the investigation, Dr. Farinas coordinated with Milazzo with intent of trafficking the pills. The investigation showed that after Dr. Farinas prescribed a large number of pills to her patients, including Milazzo, she would then ask them to give her a portion of those prescribed pills to satisfy her own addiction. The
investigation showed that the prescriptions issued by Dr. Farinas were outside the usual scope of professional medicine and were without a legitimate medical purpose.
DEA agents took Dr. Farinas into custody at her Palmetto Bay clinic, Pinecrest Medical Group, 15715 South Dixie Highway, #219, Tuesday. Dr. Farinas was taken to Miami-Dade County jail on a $100,000 bail.
Dr. Farinas will be prosecuted in Miami by Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Jennifer Fernandez from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office.
“This was a sad case that law enforcement officers are becoming all too familiar with,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “The opioid crisis affects every corner of this country and unfortunately that includes the Florida Keys.
I want to thank the outstanding work done by our Major Crimes Unit as well as our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in this case. This case was a great example of how powerful those partnerships are and how
successful they can be. I hope we are sending a loud and clear message to those who abuse their power or privilege, be it in the health care industry or elsewhere, that the Sheriff’s Office and its partners will aggressively investigate anyone who illegally traffics these dangerous drugs.”