251: Kurt McKenzie – Pill Mill Case, Operation Oxy Alley

Retired agent Kurt McKenzie served in the FBI for 24 years. For the first three and a half years, he was a forensic biologist analyzing DNA evidence from sex crimes, serial murders, and other Violent Crimes at FBI Headquarters. For the last twenty and a half years of his Bureau career, he was a special agent assigned to the Miami Division where he investigated financial crimes, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime both domestically and abroad.

On this episode of FBI Retired case File Review, Kurt reviews Operation Oxy Alley, a groundbreaking, multi-agency investigation of pill mill clinics illegally distributing pain killers and steroids.

Christopher and Jeffrey George, twin brothers, operated, managed and financed pain management clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The four clinics prescribed more than twenty million pills and profited more than $40 million. It was the first large-scale investigation to target pill mills as an act of organized criminal conspiracy. The investigation resulted in the convictions of 32 individuals, including 13 doctors, for charges including racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and other offenses.

The Operation Oxy Ally was featured on the CNBC TV series, American Greed – “Painkiller Profits” (2016) episode, and will be highlighted again in a soon-to-be-released CNN/HBO documentary.

Later in his career, Kurt served on investigative squads working Transnational Organized Crime, Transnational Narcotics, Health Care Fraud and Financial Institution Fraud. While working these matters, he had many international deployments to Afghanistan, Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Romania.

Upon being promoted to Supervisory Special Agent, Kurt led joint inter-agency task forces where he managed 26-member teams comprising FBI agents, task force officers, analysts, and support staff investigating high-profile transnational organized crime and major theft operations.

During his Bureau career, Kurt has earned commendations for investigative excellence and leadership including the FBI Medal of Excellence (2018), Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Officer (2017) and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Award (2012) among others. He has a basic-level proficiency in the Russian language and served as an instructor and advisor on organized crime matters to foreign governments.

Special Agent (Retired)

Kurt McKenzie

6/2001 – 11/2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In 12 months, 51 of her patients died of drug overdose or the direct result of drug use. Oncologist don’t have that many patients die in one year.”—Retired Agent Kurt McKenzie

The following are links to news articles and videos covering the Operation Oxy Alley:

FBI.gov Press Release – 8/23/2011: Thirty-Two Indicted in Florida in Second Coordinated Pill Mill Takedown

WPBF 25 News (VIDEO) – 3/10/2010: Wellington Man’s Pain Clinics Raided

NPR – 3/2/2011: The ‘Oxy Express’: Florida’s Drug Abuse Epidemic

South Florida Business Journal – 7/20/2012: Doctors indicted in oxycodone pill mill deaths

New York Post – 9/13/2015: Twins build drug empire with help from doctors, strippers

Miami News Time – 8/25/2016: Inside the Deadly South Florida Pain Clinic That Doled Out Drugs to 700 Patients a Day

CNBC Prime American Greed (VIDEO) – 7/7/2016: Prescription for disaster

You can find more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes about drug investigations here.

Mug shot of Chris George.
Mug shot of Jeff George.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the original pain pill mill clinics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new facility, Chris George and partners planned to open, is shown here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money wrapper evidence seized during the search showing the clinics operated as a cash business.
Cash evidence seized during the search of the pain clinics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.

6 Comments

  1. mtApril 18, 2022

    Wow. What a fascinating account of a monster case from a man who sounds like a model agent–at least, I’d really like to think that agents now coming up are modeling their professional behavior, their approach to investigating crimes, and their pursuit of justice on those of now-retired Agent McKenzie. I was also affected by his sensitivity toward the addicts victimized by the unscrupulous and predatory people who ran these pill mills. Looking forward to listening to more of these podcasts–thank you, Ms. Williams, for putting them together and for asking such insightful questions of your guests.

    Reply
    1. Jerri WilliamsApril 18, 2022

      Thanks for listening!

      Reply
  2. NateMarch 7, 2022

    Thank you for exposing these clinics. As a recovering addict , I can tell you that these clinics are culpable in part for the burdening fentanyl crisis.

    Thank you ! Please keep up the good work, and unfortunately these clinics are still a plague here in Florida

    Reply
    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 8, 2022

      We can only hope that a portion of the recent civil settlements with pharmaceutical companies will be should for treatment and prevention.

      Reply
  3. Mary Ann MorganFebruary 3, 2022

    Jerri, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your FBI podcasts and I listen to them as often as I can – sometimes twice. Thanks for doing the podcasts and I will be listening to them today as our weather in Memphis is bad and the roads will soon be a sheet of ice. Glad someone invented coffee. Have a good day!

    Reply
    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 3, 2022

      Mary Ann, thanks for listening and taking the time to let me know you’re enjoying the episodes!

      Reply

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