EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBUSINESS INVESTIGATION UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Business Investigation Update
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Tiersa Davis
Reported: Mar. 12, 2013 10:38 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 13, 2013 8:41 AM EDT
Charleston , Lawrence County , Ohio
Roseanna Wescott said she has been coming to the Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center for about two months now, getting a Suboxone prescription to fight her addiction to prescription pain pills.
"As long as I have the Suboxone, I'm not on the street buying dope," she said.
Wescott said she was shocked when she pulled in to go to her appointment Tuesday morning. The parking lot was full of local, state and federal authorities.
"I didn't know what to think, " she said.
A search warrant was served at the office on South Third Street in Ironton. The Ohio Attorney General's Office said it has been investigating this location for more than a year for writing questionable prescriptions.
Jesse Wimberly of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy said there is the possibility these prescriptions can be sold on the street or given to people who are addicted to the medication "so it's beneficial to us to receive these complaints and actively look into them."
The last two years, staff members from the attorney general's office have helped revoke licenses for more than two dozen doctors and pharmacists for improperly prescribing drugs, but they know the epidemic is far from over.
Matt Donahue, special prosecutor with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, said the office has had "several successful rounds, but this is a multi-round boxing match."
It's unclear whether the center will remain open. Until then, Wescott said she prays she can stay sober. "By Friday, I'll be out on the street finding something," she said.
Law enforcement officials said they are investigating a business in Ironton, Ohio, that is suspected of being a pill mill operation.
Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center in the 400 block of South Third Street was searched Tuesday morning. The center has been under investigation for more than a year, Jill Del Greco with the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office said. No one has been charged or arrested in regards to the investigation.
Authorities have seized patient files from the clinic, but the business will remain open. Patients of the center should not contact law enforcement for their records.
Several state and local agencies are involved with the investigation including, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Unit, Ironton Police Department, Lawrence County Drug Task Force, Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office, the Ohio State Pharmacy Board, Ohio State Medical Board and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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