DEA’s 45-Day “Surge” Nets 366 Leads And 28 Arrests

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2018
By: John A. Schwab

What Happened

In the “surge” announced in late-January 2018, the DEA focused its enforcement and administrative resources on prescribers and pharmacies for 45 days in February and March.  The results – announced on Monday, April 2 – included 28 arrests stemming from 366 leads and 188 active investigations.

The Rundown

As in February covered by White-Collared.com here, DOJ announced the planned “surge” of DEA agents and investigators targeting pharmacies and prescribers dispensing an unusual or disproportion amount of drugs, including opioids.  The DEA aggregated the 80 million transaction reports collected annually from manufacturers and distributors to identify statistical outliers and trends.  The data was to be used – as Attorney General Jeff Sessions described it – in “targeting packages” by the DEA.

On Monday, April 2, the DEA announced the results of the “surge:”  366 leads to DEA field offices, 188 of which or 51% resulted in active investigations by the DEA.  The data gathered by the DEA went beyond the transaction reports and included reports on suspicious orders and drug thefts, as well as leads from federal partners like HHS.

The result of the investigations also included 28 arrests, 54 “other law enforcement actions” like search warrant executions, administrative inspection warrants, and 283 administrative actions of other types, such as inspections, surrender of DEA registrations, and suspension orders.

For the Record

Attorney General Jeff Sessions:  “Over the last 45 days, the DEA has surged resources and personnel to prevent the diversion of opioids, arresting dozens of people and taking away drug dispensing authority from nearly 150 medical professionals.  And our efforts are just getting started.  …These new resources will help us catch and convict more of the drug traffickers and corrupt medical professionals who are fueling the opioid crisis.”

If you need assistance with any investigation related to your medical practice, please contact the author of this post, Top Defense Attorney, John Schwab.