BSO: Pill mill suspect owned rocket launcher

Frank Turturo faces weapons charges

Published On: Jun 13 2012 03:07:40 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 14 2012 12:09:04 PM EDT
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

Police said a man they arrested for running a pill mill also owned a rocket launcher and an impressive cache of other weapons.

Deputies with the Broward Sheriff's Office raided the pain clinic at 1341 Powerline Road in Pompano Beach on Tuesday and arrested the owner, Frank Turturo, and his wife, Bernice Turturo.

But, when deputies searched the couple's Coral Springs home, they said they found a massive stash of guns.

"That is a military-grade sniper rifle. You're not taking that weapon deer hunting," said Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, who showed the weapons to reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies said they knew Frank Turturo had guns, but not 79. The collection included dozens of handguns, assault rifles and military firearms, BSO said. In addition to the .50-caliber sniper rifle, they said they also found a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, which is capable of taking down a commercial airliner.

"It is the carrying case and the firing mechanism for a stinger missile. You're not supposed to have those," Lamberti said.

Deputies said they also found nearly $250,000 in cash hidden in the wall of Frank Turturo's Coral Springs home. 

Lamberti said the all-cash enterprise was linked to organized crime.

"Our intelligence strongly suggests that his father is an associate of organized crime," Lamberti said.

"Do you know which family?" asked Local 10's Roger Lohse.

"We've been to Colombo, but in his office, I talked about a portrait of John Gotti, and Gotti is with the Gambino crime family, so we're sorting that out," Lamberti replied.

Frank Turturo's family was not happy to see a Local 10 camera crew at their Coral Springs home Wednesday.

"Get the camera out of here," shouted a man who did not identify himself. 

But, another relative did agree to set the record straight about Frank Turturo's guns. He said the arsenal that cops found was not a stockpile, but rather the product of a long-held hobby.

"My cousin has been collecting guns for 20 years. The only thing I can say is my cousin is a good kid and everything that's been going on is all untrue," said the man named Chris, who didn't want to provide his last name.

Frank Turturo and his wife are in the Broward County Jail facing more than a dozen charges related to the pain clinic raid.  

Lamberti said Frank Turturo could also face federal firearms charges because two of the assault rifles they confiscated had barrels shorter than allowed by federal law.  But, with the exception of those guns and the rocket launcher, Lamberti acknowledged that the rest of Turturo's collection appeared to be legal.