Feds push to get opioids off Las Vegas streets

DEA conducts 'Operation Faux Pharmacy'

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration have been working for months on 'Operation Faux Pharmacy.'

"We recognize that not all pharmacies are bad," said Special Agent Daniel Neill, "...but what we want to do is go out and check on them."

13 Action News got an exclusive look at the surprise inspection that occurred Tuesday morning.  Agents examined boxes filled with evidence from local pharmacies that have raised a red flag.

"It's a growing problem in Nevada," said Agent Neill, "... unfortunately, this is becoming a target rich area."

An Administrative Inspection Warrant does not necessarily imply that the pharmacies are guilty of misconduct.

"If we find any discrepancies, we'll go from there," said Cindy Marx, the Group Supervisor of the Tactical Diversion Squad.

In a span of two years, prescription drug deaths have spiked in Clark County.

According to the DEA, 230 lives were lost due to mostly opioids in 2014.  That number increased to 342 in 2016.

"We have a lot of doctor's offices out there," said Agent Marx, "we have a lot of pain clinics."

Agent Neill explains how the drug operation works.  The lure of Las Vegas attracting those in need of cash.

"Go see a doctor," said Agent Neill, "get the prescription, go to the pharmacy, and then give it to the aggregator or the middle man if you will."

The middle man then passes the drugs to dealers.  The dealers sell it out of state and locally.  That's something that concerns these agents who are also parents.

"It's not just to arrest the bad guys...you want to make a difference," said Agent Marx, "...if at the end of the day that prevents an overdose, I think we've done our job."

It's too soon to tell if the pharmacies are violating any laws or regulations.  The investigation could take days or even weeks. 

'Operation Faux Pharmacy' was a multi-state operation.

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