HOUSTON - On Wednesday, federal authorities announced dozens of doctors, clinic owners, pharmacists were arrested along with drug dealers and traffickers.
The 41 defendants are all alleged to be involved in a network of "pill mill" clinics and pharmacies based in Houston. They are reportedly behind the illegal distribution of about 23 million oxycodone, hydrocodone, and carisoprodol pills.
Investigators executed 36 search warrants including 15 pharmacies and 6 "pill mill" clinics. The Drug Enforcement Administration also served immediate suspension orders on 7 pharmacies including Creative Care Pharmacy on Richmond Avenue at Hillcroft Drive in Southwest Houston. According to the indictment between January and July of this year, Creative Care Pharmacy dispensed the second highest amount of oxycodone out of all pharmacies in Houston.
"The pill mill operators and owners employed crew leaders, who in turn recruited runners to pose as patients turning a profit for cash fees charged for each office visit," said Jeffrey Scott, Associate Special Agent in Charge with the DEA.
The drugs reportedly reached as far as the streets of Boston. The DEA also says they seized 9 guns and almost 200 thousand in cash.
"We at the DEA believe many of those arrested today are little more than drug traffickers in lab coats," added Scott.
For a list of the indictments and defendants, click here.