breaking news

Officers from two city police departments at Riviera Beach home

Sober Homes Task Force arrest two on patient brokering charges


Two more drug treatment center owners were arrested Friday on multiple counts of patient brokering, bringing the total number of people arrested by the State Attorney’s Sober Homes Task Force to 32.

Nick Cirio, 38, was arrested on 10 counts of patient brokering, a second-degree felony that carries a $100,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

Evan Rodriguez, 43, was arrested on 53 counts of patient brokering, a first-degree felony that carries a $500,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

Both men were stung by the same unidentified informant, a Lake Worth sober home operator who told task force officials that Cirio and Rodriguez paid him between $325 and $2,500 for each patient he sent them, a police report stated. The sober home was at 702 N. G St.

Both men would pay the informant for sending the people living in his sober home to Hope Recovery and Wellness at 1860 Old Okeechobee Road, the report said.

The facility is owned by Rodriguez’s mother, and the two men would pay the informant through a separate company they owned together, the report said. Between February and November 2016, they wrote the informant 10 checks totaling $32,500.

The informant also said he was paid to send people to Palm Beach Recovery and Wellness at 6600 S. Dixie Highway, near Forest Hill Boulevard. The business is owned by Melissa Johnson, the wife of Steve Johnson, who was arrested earlier this year on 48 counts of patient brokering.

The informant said he was paid by Rodriguez and an unidentified person through another company, Reel Recovery. The company is owned by Rodriguez and Steve Johnson.

Between January and October 2016, Reel Recovery paid the informant $32,500 with 43 checks, according to the reports.

The Legislature this year increased the penalties for patient brokering. Handling more than 20 patients is now a first-degree felony.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

NEW: Officers from two city police departments at Riviera Beach home 
NEW: Officers from two city police departments at Riviera Beach home 

Police officers from two agencies have closed off parts of a Riviera Beach neighborhood Thursday evening.  Police cars for Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach officers put up police tape near a home on west 14th Street and Avenue R, just south of Blue Heron Boulevard and east of North Congress Avenue.  West Palm Beach police said...
Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers
Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers

At least eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, according to a report from CNN. The women said the behavior happened on and off movie sets. >> Read more trending news  Freeman is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he's also a business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Two blocks around the corner...
A year later: What’s going on with Jupiter’s proposed no-wake zone?
A year later: What’s going on with Jupiter’s proposed no-wake zone?

A female leatherback turtle had to be euthanized on May 8 after suffering five propeller cuts, each 24 inches long, that became infected with meningitis. One slice was so deep that it severed the turtle’s spinal cord causing her to become paralyzed, according to the preliminary necropsy. The turtle, that was “loaded with eggs,” was...
Honda Classic charity gets a new president
Honda Classic charity gets a new president

John Domenico has been tapped as president of the Children’s Healthcare Charity, the charitable arm of the Honda Classic.  Domenico has served on the board for eight years and succeeds Joe Steranka, who finished his four-year term. Domenico is a managing director and private client advisor for U.S. Trust, a private bank that serves high...
Veterans ceremony: We’ll always honor their memory, ‘it’s just in a different realm’
Veterans ceremony: We’ll always honor their memory, ‘it’s just in a different realm’

Through teary eyes and cracked voices, family members of fallen veterans walked to the front of the room, placed a white flower in a vase and spoke the name of their loved one. They gathered Thursday at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center for the Last Roll Call Ceremony of Remembrance, to honor and celebrate veterans who have died over the last year...
More Stories