DEA conducts raids on multiple family medical clinic locations in Arkansas
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Multiple locations of Lansdell Family Clinic in southwest Arkansas were raided Tuesday morning (May 18) by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
According the DEA Special Agent in Charge Debbie Webber out of the agency’s New Orleans division, DEA agents were executing search warrants in Arkansas Tuesday. However, since the activities are part of an ongoing federal investigation, the DEA will not be making any further comment as to the nature of these raids.
Six warrants were executed Tuesday in response to complaints the DEA received. A number of patients were turned away Tuesday morning as federal agents searched the clinics.
“It was shocking to come up here and police officers are sitting in the parking lot and you can’t go in and get your prescription,” said Winona Reese, a patient at the clinic in Lockesburg. “I’m wondering where I’m supposed to get my prescription filled again.”
Federal agents say the clinics will reopen by Wednesday, May 19.
Although closed for most of the day, patients were allowed to pick up medications.
Representatives with the DEA did not share details about the names of those being investigated. A number of local police agencies assisted the DEA with the searches.
The investigation has been going on for “quite some time,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jared Harper, with the DEA in Little Rock.
“The opioid epidemic is real. It is killing about 238 people every day, not just across the State of Arkansas, but the United States and globally,” Harper said.
The raids included Lansdell Family Clinic locations in Texarkana, Lockesburg, and DeQueen. Agents could be seen taking boxes of evidence from the clinics, but no arrests were made.
“These cases take some time, but make no mistake, we will be methodical. We will be thorough, and we will get to the bottom of what’s going on here,” Harper said.
The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office out of the Western District of Arkansas. KSLA has reached out to Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Bragg for more information.
Agent Harper closed by giving a warning to the public about the dangers of opioids.
“Just remember, one pill can kill and there are counterfeit pills being sold out there during this epidemic,” he said.
Law enforcement leaders would not say if other named clinics are part of this ongoing investigation.
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