The officials said that 17 people were charged with trying to sell the painkiller illegally, and they were coming to Beckles’s pharmacy to have their prescriptions filled. If convicted, Eckles could face up to 20 years in prison.
In a statement, the Florida governor’s office said that Carroll “is not familiar with Mr. Beckles’ arrest or his business practices and she has never visited his pharmacy.”
“She is surprised and saddened this has happened to her sister’s family,” the statement continued
Carroll has been in the center of several controversies in recent months. Carroll, a Republican, is chairing a state committee looking into the Stand Your Ground laws in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting. Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot in February by George Zimmerman, on his way home from a convenience store. The case has become a become a flashpoint in the debates over racial profiling and gun control laws. Stand Your Ground laws give wide latitude to the use of deadly force in self-defense. The law could protect Zimmerman, who said he was defending himself from Martin. Zimmerman was following Martin after he told a dispatcher he looked suspicious.
That panel has been criticized for being comprised of members who had been supporters of or voted for the law.
“This task force is not here to try the Zimmerman-Martin case,” she said in June. “We are charged to review the public safety law and make recommendations. This law is not about race. This law is not specific to any one area in our state or person. It can apply to any Floridian in any area of the state.”
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After a former Carroll aide, Carletha Cole, was arrested last October on charges that she gave an illegally taped conversation with a colleague to a newspaper reporter, she decided that she was not going down by herself. As previously reported by NewsOne, in court documents she claimed that she saw Carroll in a compromising with Beatriz Ramos in her office. The conservative politician immediately made headlines with her controversial statements about lesbians, namely that they don’t look like black women like her.
“The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it’s not just one person you’re attacking,” Carroll said. “It’s an entire family. My husband doesn’t want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For twenty-nine years – I’m the one that’s married for twenty-nine years. The accuser is the one that’s been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
Cole was allegedly given a polygraph test. When she was asked did she answer truthfully about “observing a sexually compromising position in the Capital”, a retired FDLE agent said “she passed,” according to 10News.
See Carroll’s statement here:
She eventually issued an apology for her statement, but the damage has been done.