DEA Arrests Hundreds in Four-state ‘Pill Mill’ Crackdown
NEW ORLEANS, May 21 (UPI) — Federal drug-enforcement agents raided pain clinics, pharmacies and other medical facilities in four states as part of a crackdown on so-called “pill mills” to curb prescription drug trafficking and abuse.
Some 280 people, including 22 doctors and pharmacists, were arrested in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, early Wednesday, to culminate the 15-month operation dubbed “Operation Pilluted.”
“The doctors and pharmacists arrested in Operation Pilluted are nothing more than drug traffickers who prey on the addiction of others while abandoning the Hippocratic Oath adhered to faithfully by thousands of doctors and pharmacists each day across this country,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown.
Of those arrested, 140, including four doctors, four nurses and five pharmacists, were in Arkansas. In one of the busts, at the KJ Medical Clinic, investigators found clinic patients were paying $200 each to get a prescription for narcotics without getting a doctor’s examination. Investigators said those involved in the pill-mill operations have distributed “hundreds of thousands” of narcotics, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, and alprazolam (Xanax) from July 2014 through April 2015.
“The operation of KJ Medical Clinic was found to be related to several “pill mills” in the Dallas area, operators of which are under federal indictment in Texas,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Arkansas said.