Sheriff: Prescription pill ring obtained nearly 20k pills

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SARASOTA, Fla. - A lengthy investigation into a widespread prescription fraud ring involving local residents has led to the arrest of 61 people, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators in Operation Main Pain say that 35-year-old Pedro Alcantara was the ring leader of an operation that used 220 fraudulent prescriptions for 19,980 Oxycodone pills.

They were able to determine the crime ring had several recruiters who had runners enter the pharmacies multiple times a day with identical prescriptions and paid in cash. The recruiters chose two primary pharmacies, Olson Liggett Rexall Drug in Sarasota and Barclay Pharmacy in Venice.

Alcantara is being held in Miami where he was wanted on unrelated charges. He is charged with Conspiracy to Traffic in Oxycodone. Another 60 people were arrested over the past several months and as recently as last week in Sarasota and Manatee counties. One woman was tracked to Tampa International Airport where she tried to board a flight to Cuba.

The investigation is ongoing and additional warrants have been signed, with most suspects facing multiple counts of Obtaining Oxycodone by Fraud and Trafficking charges.