Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted raids in four states of clinics and pharmacies, arresting those involved in illegal sales of prescription drugs, Reuters reported. The locations raided by the DEA were all in the southern states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown said the following about the raids.
“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.”
These latest raids were all part of a larger operation that the DEA began last summer, called “Operation Pilluted.” The DEA has now arrested over 280 people involved in the illegal sales of prescription pharmaceuticals, which included doctors and pharmacists, the Associated Press reported.
Special Agent in Charge Brown said the following about the doctors and pharmacists arrested in the raids.
“We have people who have taken an oath to do no harm who are throwing that oath out the window.”
The DEA operation focused on the illegal sales of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Xanax by doctors and pharmacists. The operation has not targeted drug addicts.
The DEA have arrested forty-eight people in the raids in the four states, which were conducted on Wednesday. Twenty-two people were arrested in Louisiana, nine were arrested from Alabama and Arkansas, and eight were arrested from Mississippi.
Arkansas has the largest number of arrests made since the operation began last year, with half of the overall arrests made. U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said the following about the illegal sale of prescription drugs in Arkansas.
“Arkansas is unfortunately not only not immune from this epidemic, but in some ways, we are a leading cause of it.”
And Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said the following about those involved in the illegal drug sales.
“These physicians are an embarrassment to the medical profession,”
The Alabama governor, also a doctor, was extremely critical of the doctors and pharmacists accused of illegally selling prescription drugs. Bentley said the following about those involved in the drug deals.
“When they choose to overprescribe narcotics to patients, and they know that these patients may be or are abusing them, then they change from being a physician to really being a drug dealer.”
Along with the arrests of those involved in the illegal sale of prescription pharmaceuticals, 51 vehicles, 202 weapons, and more than $400,000 in cash were seized as a result of the operation, according to the DEA.
[Photo credit: Phil Walter / Getty Images News]