- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday that 51 people face charges following a yearlong investigation into illegal prescription drug sales.

The agency said 26 people were arrested over two days as part of an operation involving the DEA and other law enforcement agencies in the Milwaukee area. It said 47 people face state charges in Milwaukee and surrounding counties, while four face federal charges. Most are Milwaukee residents or from southeastern Wisconsin.

The DEA said they were part of a “loosely organized” group that created fake prescriptions and recruited people to have the prescriptions filled at local pharmacies, often using their own insurance. Those people were then either paid in cash or allowed to keep some pills.

Almost all of the prescriptions were for the painkiller oxycodone, the agency said. Once the prescriptions were filled, the pills went to a main distributor who created the fake prescriptions. That person then sold the pills illegally for about 50 cents to $1 per milligram around the Milwaukee area, the agency said.

Investigators believe about 196 fake prescriptions were produced and filled, accounting for more than 25,000 pills.

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