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Pain Pill Investigation Stretches From Jacksonville to Kentucky

4:25 PM, Jul 19, 2010   |    comments
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Angela Hedges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Riverside pain clinic is the focus of an investigation that stretches all the way to Kentucky.

Police in Kentucky said they arrested five people there for trafficking in a controlled substance.

According to the police reports, the five received numerous prescriptions for drugs, including Oxycontin, at the Liberty Medical Group in Riverside.

According to police, Angela Hedges, who works for the state of Kentucky as an accountant, has paid up to 15 people to drive to Jacksonville and get prescriptions.

According to the police report, the group of five came to Jacksonville last week. Three of the five were paid cash to go inside the clinic.

Police said they received four prescriptions each from a Dr. Kopitnik.

First Coast News went inside and tried to talk with the doctor on Monday.  Security stopped us at first and then allowed us to talk to Kopitnik.

She told us off-camera those she treats from out of state she always asks why they are coming to Jacksonville for their pills.  She said she was unaware of the arrests.

The doctor was then told not to talk to us by a man who refused to tell us who he was.

Police said those arrested had an arrangement to split the pills in order to pay for their trip.

Police said the street value of the prescriptions from the Jacksonville clinic was worth nearly $10,000.

Police caught the crew trying to fill the prescriptions at a Louisville, KY, CVS pharmacy.

The Liberty pain clinic is one of the newer ones in Jacksonville.

In May, we told you Jacksonville had 48 registered clinics. The number has now grown to 56 clinics.

JSO Asst. Chief Pat Ivey told us, "We are aware of Liberty Medical Group being a pain clinic. We are keeping an eye on all pain clinics in Jacksonville to make sure they are operating within the law."

The Liberty Medical Group is based out of Boca Raton.  Police said they are cracking down on new clinics in South Florida and that is why some are opening in Jacksonville.

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