Undercover probe takes down prescription fraud ring in Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office announced the results of an almost year long, undercover probe they've dubbed "Operation Bad Apple."

Sheriff Tom Knight detailed 29 people charged, mostly with trafficking offenses.

The Sheriff said suspects from Sarasota, Charlotte and Desoto counties filled numerous fake or stolen prescriptions at Apple Pharmacy
in Englewood between June and August 2011.

Apple Pharmacy appeared closed Friday afternoon and calls from ABC Action News were not returned.

Sheriff Knight stressed no Apple Pharmacy workers have not been charged in connection with the prescription fraud ring. However, he added
deputies are now investigating the pharmacy.

"People only see what they want to see, and this is going to boil down to money. It may not be illegal to not ask and not see,
but they have a responsibility to the citizens of Englewood," Sheriff Knight said.

Roberta Dominey manages the Ace Hardware store next door to Apple Pharmacy.

"I've been complaining about Apple Pharmacy for three years," she said.

Dominey said they installed security cameras aimed towards the pharmacy to aid in their many detailed complaints to law enforcement.

"They have shady characters hanging around the parking lot. They are dealing drugs. They are there all hours of the day," Dominey explained.

Dominey was notified by law enforcement that her tips helped in the investigation into the prescription fraud ring.

"I think it's going to be an ongoing thing," she said. "It's going to get worse. If they don't do it here, they'll do it somewhere else."

The investigation is still ongoing.

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