Agent says two coast doctors, pharmacy ran prescription drug mill

Published 3:41 am Sunday, May 25, 2008

An Aug. 18 trial date has been set for four people accused of running an illegal prescription drug operation from a Biloxi doctor’s office and a pharmacy.

Authorities said the “pill mill” is to blame for nine fatal drug overdoses.

Drug Enforcement Agency Agent Terry Davis told a court hearing Thursday that the defendants received millions of dollars from the operation, attracting both local residents and individuals from other states who wanted narcotics.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Davis said the Family Medical Center and Tran’s Pharmacy were considered “the place to go,” for drugs.

Dr. Thomas T. Trieu, 41; his wife, Dr. Thu-Hoa Van, 42; pharmacist Nick C. Tran, 40; and office manager Richard Trieu, 35, are charged in the 22-count indictment.

The four defendants’ homes were searched on Wednesday after a raid of their businesses found reason to believe the two doctors, who live in Ocean Springs, have an additional $1.7 million in assets that could be used to flee prosecution, Davis said.

U.S. Magistrate John M. Roper denied bond for three defendants. Richard Trieu also remains in custody pending a detention hearing Tuesday.

In his testimony, Davis the clinic operated on a “cash only” basis, with doctors providing little or no examination.