Christopher George, Pill Mill King, Has Sentence Reduced
Christopher George, the onetime Broward/Palm Beach pill mill kingpin who was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison last year, saw that sentence reduced on Friday thanks to his role in snitching against two doctors.
During a hearing on Friday where George was not present, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled to shave three and a half years off George's prison term, which would cut it to 14 years.
George's lawyers were hoping for at least a 50 percent reduction. But Marra cited George's boastful and haughty testimony during his trial as reason to deny that request.
In 2007, George's twin brother, Jeffrey, introduced him to a pill mill doctor who promised him big money. Not long after that, the George twins opened South Florida Pain.
Eventually, Jeffrey went off on his own and opened a clinic in Palm Beach.
Christopher, meanwhile, opened American Pain in both Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as Boca Drugs and Quick Pharm. Thanks to a previous conviction for steroid distribution, George opened these clinics under his friends' names.
George's customers quickly ballooned to more than 500 a day. George was soon pulling in an estimated $50,000 a day.
George became a millionaire overnight, while around 52 overdose deaths were linked to his clinic.
When the clinic attracted rowdy drug addicts, police began to take notice. At first, the clinic was moved, to keep the heat off. But things began to get out of control, including one incident where two women driving away from the clinic were critically injured after their car was struck by a train. Oxycodone pills spilled out of the car all over the scene of the accident.
An investigation was soon launched that eventually nabbed 32 people -- including Jeffrey, several doctors, and the George twins' mother.
During his trial in 2012, George boasted that he was proud to be a criminal. He testified that his businesses in Fort Lauderdale, Boca, West Palm, and Wilton Manors made $40 million in just a couple of years in operation.
He boasted of a lavish lifestyle as a result of selling painkillers to drug addicts.
Prosecutors used George's testimony to convict two doctors -- Cynthia Cadet and Joseph Castronuovo -- during a trial last summer in a West Palm Beach federal court.
George's testimony helped get him a reduced sentence, but his boasting killed any chances of getting any kind of significant reduction.
"I'm not sure that I want him back out on the streets as quickly as everyone here seems to want -- he's a dangerous person," Marra said during the hearing, per the Sun-Sentinel. "He was proud of what he did. He was just upset that he got caught."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.