The Norwalk Rite Aid at 99 Whittlesey Ave. had a marked police car parked outside its building Tuesday as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents conducted an investigation at the pharmacy.
The DEA told the Reflector there were five locations, but could not verify where the other raids took place.
Fox 8 News reported agents executed warrants at the Willard Rite Aid at 4 Walton St., as well as at the drug store chain’s Perkins Township, Mansfield and Marion locations.
Norwalk Police Chief Mike Conney said the DEA didn’t tell his department the reason for the raid. Conney said agents “certainly did” seize items but could not elaborate.
“Our only part in that investigation was to make sure that they, meaning the organization (Rite Aid), knew that this was a legitimate search warrant and they were real federal agents. The officers, they were only there to legitimize the investigation,” the chief said.
One NPD detective and one officer were at Rite Aid long enough to let the store employees know the investigation was real “and it wasn’t someone (impersonating) the DEA or robbing their pharmacy,” Conney added.
The store remained open while DEA agents executed the search warrant.
DEA special agent and public information officer Cheryl Davis released a statement acknowledging both federal and state law enforcement agents executed search warrants “as part of an ongoing investigation into potential irregularities in dispensing practices,” but could not release additional details on the case.
She said the investigation is ongoing and any information could jeopardize the case.
The agency said federal law outlines a pharmacist’s legal requirements and Davis added that such documents are public knowledge. The law outlines that both pharmacies as a whole and individual pharmacists are to question the legitimacy of prescriptions to ensure their legitimacy. Should a pharmacist question or find a script suspicious or dubious, the doctor is not required to fill and dispense the medication.
In fact, the part of the law the DEA discussed with Fox 8, states "...the pharmacist who deliberately ignores a questionable prescription when there is reason to believe it was not issued for a legitimate medical purpose may be prosecuted along with the issuing practitioner..."
Norwalk Rite Aid workers weren’t allowed to comment on the search warrants Wednesday. However, corporate representatives confirmed the event.
“Rite Aid is cooperating with the DEA and has no further comment at this time,” corporate-level Rite Aid public relations director Chris Savarese told the Reflector.
Davis said anyone with information relevant to this matter should contact the DEA via email at [email protected]