On Friday, September 19, 2014 Jorge Gonzalez and his wife, Michele Gonzalez were each sentenced to 30 years in Florida State Prison following their conviction on RICO and drug trafficking charges related to the operation of 1st Medical Group, a licensed pain management clinic.
The pair were originally charged with 86 felony counts. As a result of the failure of the State to present evidence sufficient to convict Gonzalez, the Court dismissed 55 counts during trial and 3 additional counts post-trial.
The defendants plan to appeal their convictions. Remarkably, while the jury was permitted to hear testimony from admitted drug traffickers regarding their trafficking activities at other pain management clinics in Tampa and elsewhere, none of these witnesses had any knowledge about the operation of 1st Medical Group, admitted they intentionally mislead the clinic staff and never engaged in any conspiracy with any of the defendants. It is also remarkable that the State opposed introduction of sworn testimony obtained by the State Attorney's Office from the physicians practicing at 1st Medical Group.