The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced charges against 49 people in the Northern District of Texas in relation to a “pill mill” operation that allegedly spanned nine years and raked in about $18 million. Two doctors and several pharmacists are among the list of defendants.
According to the DOJ, two doctors, age 61 and 36, purposefully wrote prescriptions for all kinds of controlled substances, including painkillers, sleep aids, sedatives and muscle relaxers, knowing full well that they were going to be resold on the streets.
A 48-year-old clinic manager was allegedly instrumental to the scheme, arranging to recruit people from homeless shelters to pose as patients in exchange for cash. The prescriptions they obtained would then be filled and resold on the streets. The pharmacists charged in the bust may be accused of either being part of the operation or merely turning a blind eye toward the excessive number of prescriptions they were seeing from certain doctors.
Cases like this are a warning: Drug enforcement efforts related to the opioid crisis haven’t stopped. If anything, many long-running investigations by the DOJ are just now bearing fruit.
Defending your rights and freedom
While it’s true that this country has seen a wave of prescription drug-related addictions, overdoses and deaths, the reality is that not everybody who gets swept up in these kinds of investigations will be guilty. Federal prosecutors are eager to take a hard-nosed approach to prescription drug crimes, and that could impair their judgment when it comes time to press charges.
If you’ve been charged with a prescription drug crime, don’t make another move or any statements to the authorities without legal assistance. You need to start early for the best possible defense.