DETROIT (FOX 2) – Michigan State Police raided a Detroit weight loss clinic that they say was being used to sell oxycodone as part of ‘Operation Candy Man’, which will include raids on locations through Michigan.
MSP announced the raids on Twitter as authorities arrived at Lighthouse Medical Center on 8 Mile Road in Detroit.
According to MSP, Operation Candy Man is a large scale opioid diversion operation where nurse practitioners were issuing illegal prescriptions for tens of thousands of pills. Specifically, they were for hydrocodone and oxycodone. MSP said the pills were then illegally diverted for street sales.
“What we want to make sure is that this place never opens again,” said MSP Lt. Michael Shaw. “This is what is killing Michiganders.”
Search warrants were executed in West Bloomfield, Grand Blanc, Van Buren Township, Detroit, and Taylor, MSP said.
FOX 2 arrived at Lighthouse Medical Center and observed officers entering the building with long guns as they knocked down the front door.
“There are literally boatloads of people driving to this establishment to get their illegal prescriptions,” Shaw said.
In total, 5 people have been taken into custody: a 67-year-old West Bloomfield man, 41-year-old Grand Blanc woman, 47-year-old Van Buren Twp woman, 30-year-old Detroit man, and a 53-year-old Taylor woman.
“Two nurse practitioners that worked inside of this establishment that were issuing prescriptions for oxycodone, for different opioids for people that weren’t actually allowed to have them,” Shaw said.
Three guns were also seized during the raid, one was being carried by a suspect and two from alleged patients.
“It’s been going on for years,” said Nekole Clark, who heard about the pill mill from people talking in the neighborhood.
FOX 2 has also learned the doctor who ran the medical center is no longer at the location and has moved out of state. They said he is not involved.
MSP detectives are still searching the clinic.
“Illegal clinics like this one are a leading contributor to overdose deaths and people becoming addicted to opiates and we will continue to aggressively investigate them,” MSP said in a statement.