Los Angeles Pill Mill Busted for Issuing More Than 10,000 Illegal Prescriptions

By Victoria Kim 01/15/15

Authorities busted what they believe was a major source of black market prescription drugs.

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Five people were arrested Tuesday morning for their participation in writing and distributing illegal prescriptions, which they operated out of a Los Angeles medical clinic.

The pill mill, allegedly based at Southfork Medical Clinic, used LA as a base of operations to acquire and deliver bulk shipments of prescription drugs to Texas, where they were sold on the black market.

More than 10,000 prescriptions were issued by Dr. Madhu Garg, 63, at Southfork over a 15-month-period. Garg and her employees issued prescriptions “without a legitimate medical purpose” for drugs that included oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, carisoprodol, and promethazine with codeine, also known as “sizzurp” to recreational users.

Over 80% of the prescriptions issued by Garg, whose medical license was revoked in 2013, were for hydrocodone or alprazolam, most of which were at the maximum dosage.

The Southfork operation is one of several that are responsible for making LA a “major source” of prescription drugs sold on the black market in the western United States, according to acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura.

“Dr. Garg and her employees brazenly wrote and distributed thousands of illicit prescriptions with no legitimate necessity, allowing a countless number of highly addictive prescription opioids to hit the streets of Los Angeles and Texas,” said Anthony D. Williams, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s LA field division.

The five arrested were charged in a grand jury indictment last week with conspiring to distribute narcotics. Two others accused of involvement in the pill mill are still being sought by authorities.

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