WSVN — It’s been a while since South Florida pill mills have been in the news, but that doesn’t mean police aren’t still interested in the people who operate them. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is back on the case with a new twist on an old clinic.
It was just about five years ago when 7News first showed you what was going on at a North Broward pain clinic.
Woman: (screaming) “I need 911!”
Out-of-control customers and questionable characters had neighbors concerned about VIP Family Health Associates.
Carmel Cafiero: “Don’t touch that camera, lady.”
Rick Fiorello: “This is absolutely ridiculous. Right next door to a kid’s daycare here. Are you kidding me?”
Carmel Cafiero: “Can you stop for a sec?”
The clinic’s president ducked us at first, but we caught up with Gordon Berman later.
Carmel Cafiero: “Can you tell me why you’re not registered with the state as a pain clinic?”
Gordon Berman: “Because we’re not a pain clinic.”
However, his clinic was eventually raided. Berman was busted for racketeering and conspiracy in connection with the sale of oxycodone.
The 52-year-old was in court last week, and the years have been hard on him. Berman has serious health issues and told the judge he takes pain pills.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer: “And you’re able to think clearly? Is that a yes?”
Gordon Berman: “Yes.”
Judge Elizabeth Scherer: “And you’re able to communicate with our lawyer?”
Gordon Berman: “I am.”
And that’s important, because Berman was in court to cut a deal.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer: “How do you wish to plead?”
Gordon Berman: “Guilty.”
The deal will keep him out of prison.
Joshua Rydell: “One year of community control followed by 10 years of state probation.”
In return, Berman has agreed to provide information about people illegally selling controlled substances. And that could be a big problem for Dr. Jacalyn Danton, who worked at Berman’s clinic and was also arrested.
Carmel Cafiero: “Aren’t you running a pain clinic?”
Dr. Jacalyn Danton: “No, I’m not.”
Carmel Cafiero: “You’re not? Why are all these people coming from other states then to oxycodones from you?”
Dr. Jacalyn Danton: “You’ll have to talk to my lawyer.”
As the clinic was being raided in 2010, Dr. Danton insisted it was there to help patients with addiction problems.
Dr. Jacalyn Danton: “They’re not coming to get drugs. They’re coming here so I can help wean them off the drugs without withdrawal, and that’s all I have to say.”
We’ll have to see what Gordon Berman is saying next month, when Dr. Danton’s trial is scheduled to take place. Carmel Cafiero, 7News.
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