Ventura County Officials Arrest 21 for Illegally Selling Rx on Craigslist
On Wednesday, investigators in Ventura County said they have arrested 21 individuals in connection with the illegal sale of prescription drugs on Craigslist, the Ventura County Star reports (Von Quednow, Ventura County Star, 10/2).
The arrests follow letters sent by California Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrence) and Nevada Sen. Tick Segerblom (D) to the CEO of Craigslist demanding that the site "stop encouraging or participating in" the illegal sale of prescription drugs.
According to U.S. drug laws, individuals other than registered physicians or patients with valid prescriptions cannot possess narcotic painkillers or other controlled drugs.
However, certain advertisements on Craigslist -- a popular online marketplace for various products -- seek to sell such medication to any willing buyers (California Healthline, 9/23).
Details of Arrests
The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit arranged for the purchase of several controlled substances on Craigslist, such as:
- OxyContin; and
In a news conference, Gary Pentis -- assistant sheriff for the county -- said illegal prescription drug ads on the site are "not even hidden in code words," adding, "Any juvenile with access to a smartphone ... has instant access for the price of lunch money to obtain all the substances being sold on Craigslist."
According to Pentis, almost half of the drugs involved in the arrests were illegally prescribed by an Oxnard doctor who was arrested by the task force in July.
He said the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office and Simi Valley police are working together to target individuals selling drugs on the website. "If you're on Craigslist selling dope, we're going to put you in jail," Pentis said (Ventura County Star, 10/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.