Phony pharmaceutical drug ring busted

Milwaukee - On Thursday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the arrest of 26 individuals on both state and federal charges related to the illegal distribution of pharmaceutical controlled substances in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

 Forty-seven individuals were charged by the Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, or Washington County District Attorneys' Offices, with the majority of the individuals being charged in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.


The arrests were part of a year-long investigation conducted by the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad

Task Force in conjunction with numerous Milwaukee area law enforcement agencies.


The investigation targeted a loosely organized group responsible for manufacturing fraudulent

prescriptions, then recruiting individuals to fill the fraudulent prescriptions at local pharmacies.


According to the DEA, these individuals were then either paid in cash or retained some of the pills. Many of these individuals also utilized their individual insurance programs to fill the fraudulent prescriptions.


Almost all of the fraudulent prescriptions were for Oxycodone, a powerful Schedule II controlled substance.


It worked like this, once filled, the pills were then returned to one of the group's main distributors - usually the individual responsible for creating the fraudulent prescription - who then illegal sold the pills for approximately $.50-1.00 per milligram around the greater Milwaukee area.


It is believed that this organization produced and filled approximately 196 fraudulent prescriptions accounting for over 25,000 pills.


The bust underscores the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.


The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS) Task Force was created over one year ago in response to the nationwide and statewide abuse of prescription drugs.


The TDS Task Force targets individuals and organizations that are responsible for the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs into the illegal market.


The TDS Task Force is comprised of DEA Special Agents, DEA Diversion Investigators, and Task Force Officers from the Greenfield Police Department, Milwaukee Police Department, Racine Police Department, and Wisconsin Department of Justice.

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