Reporting Mike Schuh
LUTHERVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—The Drug Enforcement Administration says addicts and drug dealers were driving from all over the country to visit a pill mill located in Baltimore County.
Mike Schuh reports Tuesday night’s raid has shut down a multi-million dollar operation.
Wednesday morning, agents say out-of-state cars filled the parking lot in front of Healthy Life Medical Group in the 1100-block of York Road. A sign that read “closed until further notice” greeted them.
Federal agents and county police raided the clinic, took evidence and then shut it down.
“They were prescribing pills for non-medical purposes,” said Carl Kotowski, Baltimore DEA.
A federal indictment states that four agents were prescribed pain pills but showed no symptoms of pain, had no hands-on exam by a doctor or physician’s assistant.
Their prescription: 168 OxyContin–the maximum number of the highest dose.
“They went to see the doctor or physician’s assistant, but it wasn’t long, very little questions asked,” Kotowski said.
How big was the business? The feds say the clinic saw 120 patients a day, who they charged $300-$350 cash. That adds up to more than $9 million a year.
Sources tell the feds the owners of the clinic were paying doctors $1,200 a day to write the prescriptions.
Dr. Gary Bauman has a dental office nearby. He complained to police almost as soon as the clinic opened in November.
“Knew right away. We’d come in the morning and there’d be cars filled here; four, five, six people in a car–all out-of-state,” he said.
Bauman says he has seen money, drugs and prescriptions change hands in the parking lot.
“I was just afraid something bad was going to happen,” he said. “It’s a relief that nothing bad happened. There were a lot of unsavory people hanging around.”
The feds say this investigation is far from over. The five doctors and physician’s assistants who actually wrote the prescriptions are being scrutinized and their powers to write prescriptions might be taken away.
The two people under arrest are in the county jail. Police say for legal reasons their names won’t be released until Thursday.