SARDINE CANYON, Utah, June 23, 2016, (Gephardt Daily) — The owner of The Sherwood Hills Recovery Resort in Sardine Canyon is calling a multi-agency raid on the facility Wednesday afternoon “an abuse of power,” by state and federal authorities.
In a prepared statement Richard Knapp issued on Thursday, the owner and executive director of the drug rehab facility confirmed the raid involving up to 50 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents, Utah Department of Human Services (DHS) investigators and state licensing authorities. During the raid, facility operators received an order revoking Sherwood Hills license to operate. The facility has 10 days to cease operations after notifying clients.
The order to halt operations also requires Sherwood Hills to immediately post the license revocation notice on its website and Facebook page but there was “no” posting by Thursday afternoon. In response, Knapp said, “we’re still considering it.” Right now, Knapp emphasized “there are plans to ask the district court for a temporary restraining order to stop the shutdown.”
This is not Sherwood Hills first tangle with DHS regulators. Last fall, a Notice of Agency Action was issued against the facility for several alleged administrative and procedural problems. At the time, the resort was ordered to stop taking in new clients for a period of time in 2016.
Regarding those actions and Wednesday’s raid, Knapp alleges, “The State of Utah has been trying to find an excuse to take our license for nearly nine months but has not been able to make a case.”
Now, according to DHS, the following alleged drug violations by the facility’s medical staff will be investigated:
- Allegations that staff doctors are prescribing controlled substances despite not being registered to do so with the DEA.
- Allegations of maintaining and dispensing controlled substances from an unregulated internal pharmacy.
- Allegations that clients are receiving controlled substances prior to meeting face to face with a doctor.
- Allegations of a doctor sending delayed prescriptions to the pharmacy after those clients had already received the medications from the “facility narcotics supply.”
In his statement, Knapp reacted to the DHS allegations saying, “The State action shows a complete disregard for the people we are trying to help. It’s not right, or fair.”
DHS Communications Director Heather Barnum also issued a statement on Wednesday’s raid, the warrant to investigate drug violations and the license revocation notice saying, “We do not take this uncommon decision to revoke a license lightly and believe it is necessary to protect the health and safety of residents and employees.”