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Alex Cabrero reportingJoe Christensen, Director, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: "It is the new designer drug for people with addictive personalities."
He's talking about Oxycontin, and he's talking about it because officers made a huge bust involving doctors, recruiters, and patients.
FBI agents, Salt Lake City police, and several other agencies say it was an organized crime ring selling the drug on the black market.
But it also involves insurance fraud and a doctor writing prescriptions for patients who didn't need Oxycontin.
However, now the drug ring has been busted, arrests have been made, and more charges and arrests should come soon.
It all happened right here in Salt Lake City.
An undercover agent took pictures of evidence at a Salt Lake City doctors office. It was this office investigators believe was the beginning of an Oxycontin drug ring and insurance fraud.
Joe Christensen, Director, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: "People on the street, all types, we're running into people in all socio economic groups that are involved in this. Doctors, lawyers, anyone you can think of."
Here's how investigators believe it worked:
- The doctors from Advanced Pain Management had recruiters who would find people with insurance coverage for Oxycontin.
- They'd get those people to see the doctor. The doctor would write a prescription for the drug, and it would be taken to a pharmacy. Then the drugs would be handed back to the recruiters for money. The recruiters would in turn sold the drugs on the black market.
Joe Christensen, Director, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: "So far, we've identified 75-80 patients who have done this."
Thursday night, police arrested Paul Mathews and Michael Stone, saying they were the ones recruiting patients. Police say the men would also contacting enforcers if patients decided to back out.
Joe Christensen, Director, Utah Insurance Fraud Division: "The enforcers threaten them with bodily injury if they back out of it."
Brady Crowell, Recovering Oxycontin Addict: "It is very addictive."
Brady Crowell wasn't involved in this ring, but he is a recovering Oxycontin abuser.
Brady Crowell, Recovering Oxycontin Addict: "It was so powerful and so addictive, that I had lost control."
Even though he's been clean for 22 months, he knows how big the market is for the drug.
Brady Crowell, Recovering Oxycontin Addict "It's scary when you realize you're depending on something that you think you need to sustain your life."
Investigators believe they're dealing with 3-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars worth of Oxycontin, sold on the street for more than a million dollars.
The doctors listed in this warrant: Alexander Theodore and David Dodd. They were not there during a raid at their office this morning.
Police did confiscate computers, signed prescriptions, and other files they say is all evidence.