In the fall of 2015, the Racine County Metro Drug Unit and the Milwaukee Drug Enforcement Administration initiated a large scale operation focused on combating rampant prescription painkiller diversion, misuse and addiction occurring in Racine County. The investigation focused on street level opiate dealers in the greater Racine area illegally selling prescription drugs. The most common drugs being sold on the street are Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Adderall and Xanax.
Along with identifying those selling prescription pills, investigators utilized the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to identify the prescribers of the opiates and contacted many of these doctors to inform them of their patients illegal activity. Most of these meetings have been productive in bringing awareness to the prescribing doctors about prescription drug dealing and misuse in the area. Investigators have encouraged doctors to make a stronger effort to ensure their patient is taking the medication as prescribed, including conducting drug screenings to identify patients who are not taking their prescribed medications or are combining them with illegal drugs.
To date, 50 suspects have been identified and are facing charges with the Racine County District Attorneys Office. Most of these suspects have already been booked into the Racine County Jail. Some arrests are still pending and some facing charges are cooperating with ongoing investigations. Sergeant Scott Krogh, who heads the Metro Drug Unit stated, If you are selling your prescription medications, now would be a good time to stop. Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete and Deputy District Attorney Patricia Hanson have been very supportive in these efforts and pledges strict, aggressive prosecution.
Although some of these dealers are selling a dozen or less pills at a time, many will sell their entire prescription, often within hours of obtaining them, for large profits. The goal of the operation has been to identify these sources of supply and stop them from obtaining prescriptions and selling them on the street. Several of these dealers have prescriptions paid for by insurance or government assistance. Some individuals facing charges were selling highly addictive prescription painkillers solely for cash profit and several are heroin addicts who rely on selling controlled opiate pills for money to purchase heroin.