Massive DEA “Pill Mill” Raid Nabs 22 Doctors, Ex-NFL Running Back

In all, the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 280 people in "Operation Pilluted"

May 21, 2015 at 5:39 PM ET

The Drug Enforcement Administration arrested nearly 300 people, including 22 doctors and pharmacists, in one of the largest prescription drug busts in the agency’s history. Former New England Patriots running back Cedric Cobbs was among those nabbed in the bust of a massive oxycodone distribution ring.

Prescription drugs and heroin currently are the deadliest drugs in America, and prescription drug overdose deaths make up more than half—52 percent—of the 44,000 overdose fatalities every year.

The DEA’s “Operation Pilluted” came to a head Wednesday, as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies raided suspected “pill mills” in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi where they arrested nearly 140 people, according to the DEA. Over the course of the 15-month operation, 280 people were taken into custody.

These states were targeted because of a continuous increase in prescription drug overdoses and arrests. Arkansas has been hit particularly hard by the prescription pill epidemic, and is where 140 of the 280 total arrests were made—including Cobbs, who was drafted in 2004 and currently is a free agent.

“The abuse of prescription pills is perhaps the greatest drug problem Arkansas currently faces,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer said. In Arkansas there are enough prescriptions for Hydrocodone each year to provide 42 pills to every person in the state.

Other drugs targeted in the raids include Oxycontin, Dilaudid, morphine and other powerful opiates with addictive qualities similar to heroin. According to the DEA,there were about 44,000 overdose deaths in the U.S., which equates to about one death every 13 minutes. More than half of the overdose deaths (52 percent) were caused by prescription drugs. Of the prescription drug overdoses, 71 percent were caused by opiates.

Read More:

The Biker Gang Code For Killing (Vocativ)

Aerial Spraying Cocaine Plants Is Not Only Deadly, It’s Inefficient (Vocativ)