TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The brother-in-law of Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has been indicted on charges accusing him of involvement in a large-scale prescription pill ring.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that 59-year-old Edward Beckles was indicted and appeared in court Monday.

Beckles, who is 59, was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Oxycodone and one count of possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone while acting outside the course of professional practice. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each charge.

Authorities said Beckles was part of a larger drug ring. Earlier in July, 17 people from Pasco County were each charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Oxycodone. These people allegedly presented the fraudulent prescriptions for Oxycodone — a powerful painkiller — to Beckles at his pharmacy.

Beckles, who is married to Carroll’s sister, owns a pharmacy in Pasco County, Fla., a suburban area north of Tampa. Officials say Beckles allegedly filled fraudulent prescriptions for Oxycodone from August 2009 through January 2012. He is free on $50,000 bail pending trial; a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney said that Beckles did not spend time in jail but was instead indicted and attended his first court appearance on the same day.

His attorney declined to comment.

Lieutenant Gov. Carroll’s office issued a brief statement via email on Tuesday.

“Lt. Gov. Carroll is not familiar with Mr. Beckles’ arrest or his business practices and she has never visited his pharmacy. She is surprised and saddened that this has happened to her sister’s family.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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