- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2003

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Investigators who raided the offices of Rush Limbaugh’s doctors said in search warrants filed yesterday that the conservative radio commentator had engaged in illegal drug use and “doctor shopping” for prescription painkillers.

The warrants — which name four doctors and several prescription drugs — show that investigators were looking for records, including prescription disbursements, appointment schedules, receipts and a medical questionnaire, when they raided the offices on Nov. 25.

“Mr. Limbaugh’s actions violate the letter, and spirit” of the law that relates to doctor shopping, stated one of the warrants, signed by Asim Brown, a law enforcement agent assigned to the money-laundering task force at the state attorney’s office. Doctor shopping refers to looking for a physician willing to prescribe drugs illegally.

On his radio show earlier yesterday, Mr. Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing and accused prosecutors in Palm Beach County of going on a “fishing expedition.”

Reading from a statement prepared by his attorney, Roy Black, Mr. Limbaugh said the medical records will clear him.

“What these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh’s prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure.”

State Attorney Barry Krischer said in a statement that Mr. Limbaugh’s rights have been “scrupulously protected.”

“Whether Mr. Limbaugh is subject to prosecution for any crimes is still under investigation. Mr. Limbaugh is presumed innocent,” Mr. Krischer said.

The search warrants were filed at Palm Beach County Circuit Court. One was executed at Palm Beach Ear, Nose and Throat Association in Palm Beach Gardens, where investigators seized five months of records from a pharmacy that they say support the doctor-shopping accusations.

Two warrants were executed at the offices of Jupiter Outpatient Surgery Center. Information on the fourth warrant wasn’t available.

The records seized include prescriptions for Norco, Niacin, OxyContin, Xanax, Lorcet and other medications. The physicians named in the warrants are Dr. Nathaniel Drourr, Dr. Antonio De La Cruz, Dr. Lawrence Deziel and Dr. John Murray.

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