Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, working with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, today arrested a doctor on manslaughter charges after one of the doctor’s patients died of an opioid overdose. Dr. Marta Farinas, a licensed and practicing doctor with a private medical practice in Florida, prescribed oxycodone to a patient struggling with an opioid addiction.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Doctors are supposed to heal their patients, not feed their addictions. According to our joint investigation with the DEA, this doctor prescribed opioid substances illegally and in bad faith while conspiring with the victim to traffic and deliver oxycodone. I want to thank the DEA for their dedication to fighting the opioid crisis and for working with our office to stop this doctor before she could harm anyone else.”
On March 13, 2018, Monroe County deputies responded to a call out of Key Largo and found the victim unresponsive. Deputies discovered a prescription bottle of oxycodone on the nightstand next to the bed. The label on the bottle showed that Dr. Farinas prescribed the medication the day before the incident. A toxicology report indicated the cause of death involved the mixture of alprazolam and oxycodone.
According to the investigation, Farinas coordinated with the patient with the intent to facilitate the trafficking and delivery of narcotics. Text messages obtained by Monroe County authorities show the victim requesting prescriptions of Schedule II substances and scheduling meeting places for exchange. Farinas obliged to honor the patient’s request, even offered to deliver and drop off the substances by driving to the patient’s house. Farinas also negotiated drug transactions, requesting pills be kicked back after the victim filled the prescription.
In May 2018, law enforcement investigated the death of Farinas’ former boyfriend who died of a multi-drug overdose in Miami-Dade County. An autopsy found fentanyl, heroin and oxycodone in his system. During the course of this investigation, detectives interviewed Farinas regarding the doctor’s knowledge and possible involvement in acts leading to the death.
Farinas is charged with conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, delivery of oxycodone and manslaughter. The Attorney General’s OSP, DEA, Miami-Dade Police Department and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office all contributed to the investigation.
Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Jennifer Fernandez will handle the case.