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Tags: dea | pill mill | raids | operation pilluted | south

DEA Pill Mill Raids Result in 280 Arrests in Just Over a Year

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:52 AM EDT

The DEA is raiding “pill mills” in four southern states in an effort to better enforce prescription drug laws, federal law enforcement sources told NBC News this week.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has already arrested 280 people in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as a part of the drug diversion unit’s 15-month “Operation Pilluted," The Associated Press reported.

The operation — which targets pharmacies, pain clinics, and other facilities, not addicts — began last summer, and the busts include 22 doctors and pharmacists, according to the AP.

A total of 48 people were arrested Wednesday alone for the illegal distribution of the drugs.

Law enforcement officials told NBC that the pill mill raids are the “single largest pharmaceutical operation in DEA history.”

The raids are focusing on pain killers, specifically oxycodone and hydrocodone, according to NBC.

One raid at KJ Medical Center in Little Rock resulted in authorities arresting one doctor, four staffers, and a security guard, though the doctor has denied selling pills illegally.

Arkansas Federal prosecutor Christopher Thyer told the AP that, of the 1,484 prescriptions for the Bowman Curve Pharmacy, six were not arranged by the clinic between December and March.

“Arkansas is unfortunately not only not immune from this epidemic, but in some ways, we are a leading cause of it,” Thyer said.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a former physician, called those involved in the illegal sale of prescription pain drugs “an embarrassment to the medical profession,” according to NBC.

Thyer told NBC that Arkansas prescribes enough hydrocodone every year to provide each man, woman, and child in the state with 42 pills.

“This is not a crime problem,” he said. “This is truly a public health and community problem.”

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TheWire
The DEA is raiding “pill mills” in four southern states in an effort to better enforce prescription drug laws, federal law enforcement sources told NBC News this week.
dea, pill mill, raids, operation pilluted, south
283
2015-52-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:52 AM
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