DEA Raids Crack Down on Illegal Painkillers In Deep South

By Brent McCluskey 06/02/15

Operation Pillution netted over 300 arrests in four southern states.

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently hit the South for prescription drug abuse and made nearly 300 arrests across four states.

“Operation Pillution” targeted pain clinics, pharmacies, doctors, and pharmacists in southern states like Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Specifically, DEA agents were looking for illegal painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

A senior DEA official said the crackdown was a success and that a total of 24 doctors, pharmacies, and others surrendered their DEA registration numbers, which are used to prescribe certain medications. According to the official, another 24 cases are also under scrutiny.

“We have people who have taken an oath to do no harm who are throwing that oath out the window,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown said after the raids.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, himself a physician, said the doctors that have abused their powers are “an embarrassment to the medical profession.”

“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,” Bentley said.

Those that were arrested during Operation Pillution face a myriad of charges on a state and federal level including distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.