Three more arrests for patient brokering

Three more arrests for patient brokering

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The Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force continued its crackdown on sober homes and drug treatment providers Thursday, busting two men for patient brokering.  A third man, Patrick Norquist, was arrested Friday.

This comes just weeks after the task force announced its first bust.

Police say Bryan Norquist of Boynton Beach and John Dudek of Delray Beach referred patients to a nearby treatment center in exchange for money.

"These gentlemen are guilty for every time they cashed a check," says Detective Nicole Lucas with the Delray Beach Police Department.

Norquist is the co-owner of the Halfway House in Delray Beach. Dudek is the owner of the Southern Palms Oasis.

Lucas says they referred their patients to Whole Life Recovery Center in Boynton Beach in exchange for hundreds of dollars.

James Kigar is the CEO of Whole Life Recovery. He was arrested and charged with patient brokering last month which lead detectives to Norquist and Dudek.

"They're referring kids to particular places so that they can get money. They're not referring them to the best substance abuse provider," says Lucas.

Patrick Norquist turned himself in and is facing 16 counts of patient brokering.

Officers say Norquist was part of a group referring their patients to a recovery center in exchange for hundreds od dollars.

Justin Kunzelman at Ebb Tide Treatment Center in Palm Beach Gardens says patient brokering is making the heroin epidemic worse.

"A patient that has been brokered is now incapable to believing that any treatment center is there to really help them," says Kunzelman.

That's why the task force is cracking down.

"The word progress is the word exactly that I'm looking at is that we're starting to see some progress. We're going to start making a dent in this," says Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman.

Goldman says more arrests are coming soon.

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