A widespread prescription drug trafficking crackdown occurred this week
which involved Drug Enforcement Agents (DEA) conducting raids in four states.
Prescription drug trafficking primarily occurs when physicians improperly, and without a legitimate
medical basis, prescribe or distribute prescription drugs. Prescription
drug trafficking generally involves the prescribing or distributing of
more dangerous and addictive substances, such as, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone,
Chances of Addiction Higher with Certain Prescription Drugs
Unfortunately, many persons find themselves dependent on these substances
after initially obtaining and using the substances legitimately. For example,
many persons suffering from severe pain are prescribed OxyContin, (also
known as "Oxy," "OC," and "Hillbilly Heroin,")
find themselves hooked. OxyContin is a synthetic opiate painkiller that
is commonly prescribed.
Tragically, some of its users are unable to stop using the drug when their
pain diminishes. Accepted research holds that Oxycodone can be as addictive
as heroin. One United States Department of Justice study found that over
13 million individuals in the United States used oxycodone for recreational
purposes. Similar to Oxycodone, many persons who have no prior manifestations
of addictive behavior find themselves completely hooked on Hydrocodone
and Xanax. Entire classes of persons who are otherwise law-abiding, responsible
and productive have now fallen prey to the addictive nature of prescription drugs.
The large, and continuously growing, mass of persons addicted to prescription
drugs, combined with a few unscrupulous medical professionals who are
willing to fuel the addictions of addicts for profit, has resulted in
the proliferation of prescription drug trafficking related occurrences.
Recent Arrest Of Physicians And Pharmacists For Prescription Drug Trafficking
This week 22 physicians and pharmacists, along with hundreds of others
were arrested by DEA Agents and local law enforcement officers. In addition
to the arrests, vehicles, weapons and millions in cash were seized. Federal
prosecutors vow to seek significant jail time for the major participants
targeted in the Department of Justice (DOJ) prescription drug trafficking
Federal drug laws governing the sale of controlled substances overwhelmingly
provide for severe sentences which include the possibility of years of
incarceration and the seizure of assets. The physicians, pharmacists,
and other persons arrested during this week’s DOJ operation may
be in for a very tough fight in federal court. Initial reports indicate
that some targets of the investigation wrote hundreds of prescriptions
per week without conducting the necessary testing to determine if the
drugs were appropriate for the patient.
Allegedly, one pharmacist arrested this week used fake prescriptions to
sell close to 100,000 hydrocodone pills for approximately one-half a million
dollars. Sources also contend that DOJ investigators have obtained video
evidence which will show some of the arrested medical providers coaxing
persons into indicating that their pain is more significant than what
it is so that the providers could generate documentation which would provide
justification for the writing of the prescription. If these assertions
prove to be correct, many of the targets are going to be facing an uphill
battle in their federal jury trials.
If you have been charged with prescription drug trafficking or any other
drug crime, do not hesitate to
get in touch with Oronoz Ericsson & Gaffney LLC
today. We are available 24/7 and offer
free initial consultations.