On Tuesday, former Delray Beach doctor Barry Schultz was re-sentenced to 157 years in prison on drug trafficking charges for operating a pill mill out of his office.
A Florida appeals court ruled that a previous sentence of 25 years handed down by Circuit Judge Jack Cox almost three years ago was too light under sentencing guidelines and that Cox never gave a reason for giving Schultz such a break.
In 2015, prosecutors successfully argued that Schultz prescribed as many as 20,000 narcotic pills, including oxycodone, between November 2009 and August 2010, to patients who didn’t really need them.
One of his patients, a 50-year-old man, died in 2010 of an overdose after he was fatally over prescribed with methadone.
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Prosecutors called Schultz “greedy” as he was operating a cash-only pharmacy in Palm Beach and was pulling in $10,000 a week, the Palm Beach Post reported during his 2015 trial.
His attorney, Marc Shiner, citing a wave in cracking down on pain clinic doctors who were charged with running pill mills, called the case against Schultz “a witch hunt” at the time.
First, the former internist was stripped of his doctor’s license.
Then, in 2015, a Palm Beach jury found Schultz guilty on 55 of 74 charges of drug trafficking, and in January 2016 he was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.
He was scheduled for release on April 22, 2040, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
That’s not going to happen.
As the nation battles an opioid crisis, prosecutors are cracking down on doctors who, they say, are operating “pill mills.”