San Diego Pharmacies Shut, 12 Charged In Painkiller Bust

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Federal drug enforcement agents have shut down
two San Diego pharmacies and are threatening to close a third for
illegally distributing painkillers without a prescription.

Four pharmacy workers are among a dozen people facing federal
drug-trafficking charges stemming from the investigation. Prosecutors say the workers ordered nearly 100,000 tablets of the opiate hydrocodone, commonly marketed as Vicodin, and about 2,000 narcotic oxycodone pills. That drug is known as Oxycontin.

The pills were allegedly handed over to others for illicit sale.

All defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in San Diego.

The pharmacies may remain closed until after a May 5 hearing at Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters in Virginia.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-07-08 1444EST

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