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Fla. couple gets 30 years for illegally selling pain meds

TAMPA, Fla. - The owners of a lucrative medical clinic, convicted earlier this year of drug trafficking and racketeering, were sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Husband and wife Jorge Gonzalez-Betancourt and Michele Gonzalez, who together owned 1st Medical Group in Tampa, were found guilty in March of illegally selling millions of painkiller prescriptions to customers from all over the country, according to the station.

The clinic's manager, 58-year-old Maureen Altman, was also convicted of charges including racketeering and conspiring to traffic oxycodone, the paper reports. She was also sentenced to 30 years in prison.

"Maybe now it appears that I should not have taken that job," Michele Gonzalez said Friday. "But I took the job so that I could pay my house payment, pay my electric bill, put food on my table."

According to the Times, 1st Medical Group opened its doors in 2009 at a strip mall along Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. A year later, police started investigating the clinic and its owners, raiding the business in July 2010 and seizing hundreds of medical records. Investigators relied on a handful of former 1st Medical Group patients to make their case.