By Scott Smith
Kokomo Police were turning angry patients away from the Wagoner Medical Clinic in Kokomo Friday, a day after federal and local law enforcement served a search warrant on the clinic, and another Wagoner clinic in Burlington.
Dennis Wichern, special agent at the DEA’s Indianapolis office, confirmed Friday that DEA officers and KPD officers executed state search warrants at both the Burlington and Kokomo clinics Thursday morning and afternoon.
Wichern declined further comment, per the DEA’s policy of not discussing ongoing investigations.
The warrants, signed by Howard Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges, remain under seal. No one was arrested during the raids.
Patients were still going in and out of the Wagoner clinic on North Dixon Road shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.
But shortly after 1 p.m. police were called to disperse disgruntled patients from the parking lot, after the patients refused to leave the premises. A sign on the door notified patients that the office was “closed until further notice.”
Wichern said Friday the DEA had not directed the clinics to close in the wake of the search.
No one was available from either the Kokomo or Burlington clinic locations.
Around 1:30 p.m. in Kokomo, a group of women in nursing uniforms were taking boxes out the back door of the Kokomo clinic. They declined comment and directed any questions to the Burlington office.
Kokomo resident James Cox was turned away by police as he walked to the clinic doors.
“They gave us some samples yesterday, and told us to call them and let them know how they worked,” Cox said. “We called today and said they worked fine, so they told us to come by and get some more samples. And now they’re closed.”
Another woman who went to the door questioned why there was no information for patients.
“My doctor is here. Don’t I have the right to know what happened?” she asked.
There was also a closed sign at the Burlington office. One man who opened the door declined comment when asked what the doctors were telling patients.
Calls to both the Burlington and Kokomo clinics were being routed to an answering service at St. Joseph Hospital.
It’s not atypical for the DEA to announce the result of enforcement actions a week after the fact. Federal agencies also typically won’t comment as to whether an investigation is being conducted.
Howard Superior Court 1 handles all of the major felony drug cases in the county.
The DEA is charged with enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act, which in turn governs the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain often-abused substances.
Tim Horty, spokesman for the Southern District of Indiana U.S. Attorney’s office in Indianapolis, said that office so far hasn’t been involved. Kristen Kelley, director of the state Medical Licensing Board, said there are no pending actions against either of the clinics’ founders, doctors Don and Marilyn Wagoner.
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at email@example.com.
For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition.