Teresa Acosta has been arrested in Palm Beach, Florida for allegedly writing fake prescriptions for a group of people who used them to illegally obtain oxycodone. Also arrested were: Rachel Soobitsky, Louis Espinosa III, Derek Lee Hewitt, Brian Barnes, Christopher Griffths, Casey Echerri, Maria Teresa Bianchi, and Shaun Garceau.
It is presently unknown what bond has been set on each of these people.
When someone is arrested for trafficking in oxycodone, they are immediately subjected to the possibility of a very stiff prison sentence. Depending on the quantity of drugs involved, the minimum mandatory prison sentence may be very high.
Regardless, this case presents a lot of opportunity for criminal defense lawyers. First and foremost, it will be necessary to figure out who did what and who was the boss. Given the very large size of this group, there is no doubt that prosecutors will try to “flip” at least one or two minor participants against the others.
In exchange for their cooperation and testimony, prosecutors may offer reduced sentences. However, there are times where such deals are not on the table. Given the number of people involved, this ring was likely busted by someone already cooperating with the police.
Regardless, this case will require a legal defense team that is very thorough and very aggressive. A full investigation will need to be launched to determine if the police violated any search and seizure laws, if they exaggerated any aspect of their reports, and to determine if there are any legal defenses.
Just as a side thought, my initial reaction was that trafficking may not be the appropriate charge. Rather, conspiracy to obtain oxycodone by fraud or doctor shopping may be appropriate. It will be interesting to see who had actual possession of the pills and who was just an accessory.
At the end of the day, this group of people have serious problems. It will definitely be in their best interest to retain the most capable lawyer they can find.