April 10, 2007
WRENS, Ga.---A doctor has been arrested for how he handled prescriptions in Jefferson County. Today marked the end of a four-year investigation of his office on Broad Street in Wrens.
Officers say when patients came in with no legitimate medical problem and asked for a prescription, the doctor would give them the drugs or a prescription, or both, and charge them a higher doctor's fee for their visit.
This family doctor's office has been under the watchful eye of DEA agents for two and a half years now, and watched by the sheriff's office even longer.
Investigators say Dr. In Whan Yoon was not only giving out illegal prescription drugs in his office, but also prescribing them for patients who did not need them.
Most of the patients would walk less than 15 feet away to the Wrens Pharmacy to get them filled.
"There are several families that have called us over the years," said Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins. "They were concerned with family members who didn't have medical problems, and they were concerned that they were getting prescription medications from somewhere."
After the doctor was carted off to jail, investigators and federal agents brought out box after box filled with prescription medications--so many the agents couldn't turn around fast enough to load the truck with the evidence.
Sheriff Hutchins says there were at least 200 patients involved in the illegal deals.
"Just about anyone who came off the streets, people trying to get on prescription drugs," he said. "They won't get caught as easy as marijuana or cocaine. It was easy access."
Officers say Dr. Yoon was prescribing hydrocodone, a popular painkiller. It has a street value of $10 to $25 a pill.
Anissa Kemp says Dr. Yoon delivered her when she was born. She says despite the accusations, she still respects him and she's not the only one.
Dr Yoon is charged with eight felony counts of unauthorized distribution and dispense of controlled substances. In all he could be faced with 40 years in jail and $25,000 for each count.
Right now it's still unknown if those patients will face any charges.
Investigators say they believe the pharmacy suspected the illegal dealings but was never able to confirm it.
This arrest was a joint operation by multiple agencies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Wrens Police Department, the FBI, the DEA and even the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.