DEA targets online dealer using radio host's purported testimonial
JANUARY 11--A web site featuring a phony Rush Limbaugh endorsement of OxyContin is the target of a Drug Enforcement Administration probe into the illegal online sale of prescription medication, records show. After serving Google with a search warrant, federal agents last month received a year's worth of e-mail from a Gmail account used by the proprietor of 1oxycodone.com.
According to a U.S. District Court affidavit sworn by DEA Agent Efren Buenrostro Jr., the Gmail account has been used to "facilitate drug trafficking activities." As part of an undercover operation, Buenrostro exchanged e-mails with 1oxycodone.com representative "Alex Kruger," who offered to ship him the powerful painkiller Hydocodone, a Schedule III narcotic (Buenrostro was directed to pay for the drugs via a Western Union transfer to Malaysia).
A photo of Limbaugh is at the top of the 1oxycodone.com front page, along with a purported testimonial from the radio host, who is quoted saying that OxyContin "helped me deal with the pain of living in a world that just didn't resemble my perceptions or my claims." Limbaugh, 58, was once addicted to the pain medication and engaged in "doctor shopping" to secure a steady supply of the drug.
In a settlement with Florida prosecutors, a felony case against Limbaugh was dropped after he completed addiction counseling and avoided other criminal entanglements. A copy of the DEA's search warrant affidavit, which includes a printout of the site's front page with Limbaugh's photo, can be found below. The DEA examination of 1oxycodone.com, which is focusing on felony narcotics distribution and conspiracy charges, appears to be part of a larger federal investigation "targeting domestic and international sources of supply" of controlled substances being distributed via the Internet." A TSG e-mail sent to the Gmail account searched by the DEA did not lead to a response from a 1oxycodone.com representative. (8 pages)
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