Florida ‘pill mill’ owner, family arrested

LIHU‘E — Former Florida “pill mill” owner and seven-time world champion wake boarder Darrin Shapiro and his father and brother were in police custody on Kaua‘i Monday pending extradition to Florida.

The Florida Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation enlisted Kaua‘i vice officers in the investigation and arrest of Shapiro, 38, of Princeville, his brother, Jarrett Shapiro, 42, of Kalaheo and their father, Lewis Ray Shapiro, 65, of Princeville, on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering.

Darrin Shapiro was arrested on Feb. 2 in Princeville. Lewis Ray and Jarrett Shapiro were arrested on Feb. 3 at Lihu‘e Airport after turning themselves in to authorities, Kaua‘i police said.

Investigators said that in Florida — a state known for its oxycodone (Oxycontin) epidemic — Darrin Shapiro’s Florida clinic, Pain Relief Orlando, was probably the worst “pill mill.” In the fourth quarter of 2010 alone, it prescribed more oxycodone than the entire state of California.

The Shapiros’ arrests are part of a multi-agency investigation by a Central Florida drug enforcement task force that, in conjunction with the Florida Health Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, raided the Shapiros’ Florida pain clinics in June.

But at the time of the raids, the Shapiros had already relocated to Kaua‘i, leaving behind Dr. Riyaz Jummani, the doctor who ran the clinics, as the owner of record. Police in Orange County, Fla., arrested Jummani last week on charges of money laundering.

Within days of the June raids in Florida, Darrin Shapiro opened Kaua‘i’s only opioid-prescribing and marijuana card-issuing pain management clinic, Kaua‘i Chronic Pain Center, run by Dr. Sian Evans.

Kauai Chronic quietly closed down last month. The closure occurred a week or two after a group of local high school students staged a peaceful picketing demonstration outside the clinic protesting its existence in their community. 

All three men remain in police custody in lieu of $750,000 bail each. Darrin Shapiro appeared in court Monday and was transported to the Kaua‘i County Correctional Center. Lewis Ray and Jarrett Shapiro were being held in a police cell block awaiting an initial court appearance.  

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Supervisor Tom Foy told The Garden Island on Monday that a news conference to provide details of the investigation will be held Thursday.

• Vanessa Van Voorhis, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 251, or by emailing vvanvoorhis@thegardenisland.com.

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