Defense Attorneys For DEA Investigations, Warrants, Raids, License Suspensions And Other Situations For DEA Registrants
DEA Opioid And Drug Diversion Defense Attorneys
Recently, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced its “360 Strategy” which is a three-part approach to combating heroin and opioid abuse. Its second “prong” mentions enforcement actions against DEA registrants who operate outside of the law and long-term engagement with pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies and practitioners.
According to the DEA.gov website (click here), “DEA’s Diversion Control efforts are geared towards preventing the non-medical abuse of CPDs by providing education and training within the pharmaceutical and medical community and to pursue those practitioners who are operating outside of reasonable medical standards.” Additionally the website states, “DEA will remain vigilant in identifying and pursuing doctors and other registrants operating outside of the law. This process will be enhanced locally through the use of tactical diversion squads, which can mobilize to address regional or local issues, and additional diversion investigators.”
What A DEA Investigation Can Mean For Your Practice Or Medical Business
If you or your practice or business is being investigated by the DEA then the end result could be formal criminal charges and/or significant civil liabilities. You also could lose your medical license if you are found to be in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
Should you find yourself in this kind of situation then you must act quickly. Many professionals will take a “wait and see” approach which is one of the primary reasons that they incur fines, loss of license and even end up serving prison time. Our attorneys know how to help you understand what the DEA is seeking when investigating you and your practice. Our firm has successfully defended clients across the United States in these scenarios, and we are available to speak with you about your specific situation.
The DEA even has created a specific page dedicated to criminal cases against doctors, listing investigations against registrants which resulted in arrests and prosecutions. This list goes back to 2000 and goes through the present day:
Through the first five months of 2018 alone, there are nearly 20 such listings on that DEA page. 2017 saw nearly 50 such cases. The current trend shows no signs of easing on these investigations by the DEA.
According to the DEA website, “Diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals“:
Many of the narcotics, depressants, and stimulants manufactured for legitimate medical use are subject to abuse and have, therefore, been brought under legal control. Under federal law, all businesses that import, export, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances; all health professionals licensed to dispense, administer, or prescribe them; and all pharmacies authorized to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Registrants must comply with regulatory requirements relating to drug security and recordkeeping. The DEA is also obligated under international treaties to monitor the movement of licit controlled substances across U.S. borders and to issue import and export permits for that movement.
Diversion investigations involve, but are not limited to, physicians who sell prescriptions to drug dealers or abusers; pharmacists who falsify records and subsequently sell the drugs; employees who steal from inventory and falsify orders to cover illicit sales; prescription forgers; and individuals who commit armed robbery of pharmacies and drug distributors.
Attorney James S. Bell
When you are first notified of any DEA investigation or charge, contact attorney James S. Bell. He has years of experience handling DEA registrant cases and other federal health care fraud situations.
Once in a formal agreement with the firm, Attorney Bell will be the one to handle your specific case and provide you with actionable steps of what to do (and what not to do) to help you in this vital manner. He recognizes how much is at stake for you, your loved ones and your practice or other medical business. James has successfully defended doctors, pharmaceutical executives and others who are involved with the opioid manufacturing and distribution process. This level of expertise will give you the reassurance that you have retained counsel who is competent, sensitive to the risks you are facing, and has a high degree of success in similar situations.
James will help you understand what is sought when the DEA issues a warrant and how that differs from actually being charged formally with criminal charges. He also will be your representative to speak on your behalf to federal officers and investigators, the media (local or national), and others who need to go through a veteran attorney instead of your accidentally saying something which could be used against you at a later date. Once a DEA investigation is underway, speaking with your staff or anyone other than your retained attorney could hurt your situation. It is possible that the DEA already has interviewed your staff and others familiar with your operations, and you even could have an informant working on your staff by the time you get notified of the investigation. Attorney Bell will address these situations and guide you with the correct steps to take.
He also has years of helping medical practices and related businesses structure their operations properly to reduce the chances of a DEA audit or investigation. By showing you how to self-audit, this shows the government that you have no criminal intent. Such steps, among many others, are ones which our firm can help you implement and begin to reduce the odds of paying fines, losing your medical license and reduce the chances of facing time for criminal charges.
How The Investigation Begins And DEA Raids
In order to minimize potential violations of the Controlled Substances Act the DEA will start its investigation in stages. It first will analyze the amount of controlled subscriptions your practice has written and compare it to others in your area. If your practice seems to be prescribing significantly more than other providers then the investigation goes to the next phase which could include the DEA interviewing your patients, office staff, and others. This is done to justify getting a search warrant which then takes the case to the next phase.
The self-audit mentioned earlier, along with several related action steps recommended by Attorney Bell and our firm, can go a long way toward helping you in such a situation. Should a DEA raid happen, however, this is where a seasoned attorney like James Bell really can help you. Since the raid is to gather evidence to be used against you and your practice, James can represent you and use his experience to speak with the prosecutors to work on getting your case dismissed. He is familiar with the rules that the DEA agents must follow, what they are seeking, and how to increase the chances that you can keep your license and your practice.
Remember to seek veteran, experienced counsel right away at the earliest signs of a DEA investigation. Our firm is here to listen to your situation. Should we both agree to work with each other then you will have experience, competency, understanding of what is at risk, and guidance for you on what to do and not do in order to save your practice, your license, your reputation and your freedom.
Contact us today through the email form or call us at (855) 337-6836. We can represent clients in these cases anywhere the United States.
Other DEA Enforcement Actions And News Regarding Prescriptions
You also may find recent news releases from the DEA pertaining to prescription medicine at this link: