The Drug Enforcement Agency has arrested 28 pharmacists and drug prescribers, and revoked the licenses of another 147 in a coast-to-coast crackdown on illicit opioid distribution.
The DEA's efforts "surged" in February and March, leading to the almost 300 "administrative actions" concerning criminal investigations related to the opioid crisis, the department said in a press release.
"In the midst of the deadliest drug epidemic in American history, we need all hands on deck," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "That's why the Department of Justice has made enforcing our drug laws a priority.
"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. I recently announced that DEA will surge task force officers and more analysts to places across America where the opioid crisis is at its worst. These new resources will help us catch and convict more of the drug traffickers and corrupt medical professionals who are fueling the opioid crisis."
"DEA will use every criminal, civil, and regulatory tool possible to target, prosecute and shut down individuals and organizations responsible for the illegal distribution of addictive and potentially deadly pharmaceutical controlled substances," added Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson. "We must stop the loss of our loved ones to these drugs."
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