BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Federal, state and local police joined forces to break up aprescription drug ring. The operation spread narcotics through theBuffalo suburbs.
22-year-old Justin Doyle worked at this Cheektowaga gas station.From the street, nothing looked suspicious, until about four monthsago, when federal and local agents launched "Operation PillPusher." What they uncovered was a hub of illegal prescription drugsales, far larger than any one thought.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul said, "This is going to be amulti-faced attack. Step one in a multi-step process."
Hochul and law enforcers from multiple agencies stood united asthe shut down of a major illegal prescription drug ring. Doyle, and33 others were hauled into Federal Court Thursday morning.
"Certainly, these prescription pills wouldn't begin theirjourney to the medicine cabinet unless some medical professionalswrote these prescriptions," explained Hochul.
No medical professionals were arrested at this time. Authoritiesidentified Michael McCall as the alleged kingpin of the operationwhich stretched across WNY. Investigators say he would school hisworkers on how to fake illnesses as a way to get prescriptions fromunsuspecting doctors.
The bust highlighted the growing problem of prescription drugabuse in our community. At ECMC, it rivals illegal drug use as acause for ER visits. The arrests followed several high profilecases, including the recent death of Zachary Crotty. The local teendied after taking a deadly mix of prescription drugs. Authoritiesare now calling on the community to play a greater role inprevention.
Hochul stated, "Parents and grandparents: you need to count yourprescription pills. Doctors and medical professionals: please usecare in issuing your prescriptions."
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