The Drug Enforcement Administration apparently is intensifying its efforts on what it believes is pain medication abuse in the United States.
The DEA and federal prosecutors have announced they’ve made 280 arrests, including 22 doctors and pharmacists in four southern states. The 15 month investigation – which the DEA dubbed “Operation Pilluted” – was centered in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
The operation was led by the DEA New Orleans Field Division and utilized intelligence data, information provided by state and local law enforcement, and complaints made by citizens, to identify those involved in prescribing, obtaining, and distributing controlled substances such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Xanax.
“DEA is committed to reducing the destruction brought on by the trafficking and abuse of prescription drugs through aggressive criminal enforcement, robust administrative oversight, and strong relationships with other law enforcement agencies, the public, and the medical community,” said DEA Special Agent in-Charge Keith Brown. “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.”
The DEA, in addition to arresting the 22 doctors and pharmacists, took action to remove or restrict the ability of other prescribers. It issued two immediate suspension orders and obtained a voluntary surrender for cause of 40 other prescribers.
The doctors and pharmacists arrested were part of a total of 280 individuals arrested on Federal and state charges related to their illegal pharmaceutical trafficking activities. 21 search warrants were executed across Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 51 vehicles, 202 weapons, and $404,828 in cash were seized in the operation. 73 seizure warrants were executed which resulted in the seizure of $11,651,565 USC and $6,745,800 in real property.
The DEA’s mission, according to its press release, is to identify and target the individuals and organizations responsible for the illicit trafficking of pharmaceutical controlled substances.
Follow Us on Twitter