Pill mills in Georgia

9:10 AM, Nov 16, 2011   |    comments
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  • Malcolm Garrett of Houston accused of operating a pill mill in Sandy Springs.
  • DEA Agents seize boxes of files from Atlanta Counseling and Recovery Center, a suspected front for a pill mill.
  • Out of state "patients" waiting in lot are cuffed.

ATLANTA -- Busted! A yearlong investigation, spanning seven Georgia counties and involving three different law enforcement agencies nabs 12 individuals.

Georgia is cracking down on prescription pain killers.

"We are the epicenter of the abuse of prescription pain killers in the Southeast," said John Comer, DEA agent in charge of Atlanta's field office.

Florida cracked down, and now we are seeing a proliferation of pill mills here in Georgia.

Tuesday, DEA agents along with various law enforcement agents raided a suspected pill mill operating in Sandy Springs. Six pharmacies in three counties were also targeted and 12 individuals including pharmacists, doctors and the owners of the Atlanta Counseling and Recover Center were arrested.

According to officials, the recovery center was more interested in feeding addiction than recovery and brought in millions of dollars.

To see a list of the individuals indicted, click here.

Georgia's legislature recently passed a law to start tracking the dispensing of prescription pain killers, like oxycodone and oxycontin. However, that new data base won't be operational until well into 2013, which makes Georgia a target of out-of-state pill shoppers.

"The operators of pill mills profit off of the addictions of other people,"said DeKalb District Attorney Robert James, who speared headed the legal case that resulted in the indictments of racketeering.

Last year more than 560 people died in Georgia from overdosing on narcotic pain killers. Teenagers are the fastest growing demographic to become victims.

To learn more about DeKalb County's crackdown click here.

The agencies involved in this investigation include the DeKalb District Attorney, Georgia's Drugs and Narcotics Agency, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the DEA, Atlanta Field Division.

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