MIAMI — A U.S. grand jury in Florida has indicted a doctor and a pharmacist on charges of illegally dispensing prescription drugs involved in the deaths of 12 people, authorities said Friday.
The 287-count indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, charged Dr. Barbara Mazzella and pharmacist Donald Arneson with conspiracy and distribution of controlled substances at Mazzella's medical practice in Coral Springs, Fla.
"It is alleged that they provided the drugs that killed 12 people," said Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Brent Eaton.
Mazzella, 61, was arrested in April on fraud and drug charges and has since been held at a federal detention center. Arneson, 58, was arrested Friday at his home at a nudist colony in Lutz, Fla., Eaton said.
If convicted of conspiracy and distribution of controlled substances with resulting deaths, the two would face possible prison sentences of 20 years to life and fines up to $1 million.