North County Pill Mill Shut Down In Warrant Service
A search warrant was served at a Van Nuys clinic Wednesday morning by detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department - Major Crimes Bureau, Health Authority Law Enforcement Taskforce (HALT), along with investigators from the California Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Adminstration, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General.
The search warrant was served at the Roscoe Van Nuys Medical Clinic, 8121 Van Nuys Bl, Van Nuys, regarding an alleged illegal "pill mill." This same location was the subject of a search and shut down in 2011. However, it had re-opened with different doctors, and was operating illegally again.
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During the service of the search warrant at the clinic, law enforcement officials detained approximately 70 "patients" and employees. Two "patients" at the clinic were arrested for unrelated warrants.
A pill mill is a location where addicts and dealers pay cash (often $250) for Oxycontin/Oxycodone prescriptions without receiving medical exams. Pill Mills often generate illegal revenue of thousands of dollars a day. "Oxy" is a highly addictive prescription drug.
Investigators also searched the home of the manager of the business, Aida Hawatmeh, located in the 10100 block of Vanalden Ave, Northridge.
Hawatmeh was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant for Conspiracy to Commit a felony (182 CA Penal Code) and Conspiracy to Furnish Unlawful Prescriptions (11173 CA Health and Safety Code).
There are several employees of the clinic, including doctors, who are under investigation as a result of this case.