Get the Facts

Friday, March 10, 2017

Facts About Diversion in Everett, Washington

  • While we are deeply troubled by the abuse and misuse of our medication, this lawsuit paints a completely flawed and inaccurate portrayal of events that led to the crisis in Everett, Washington.
  • The suggestion that, but for Purdue failing to report its concerns about suspicious activity to law enforcement, the DEA would have shut down Lake Medical sooner and stopped criminal diversion of 1.1 million pills to Everett, WA, is contradicted by publicly available court documents that were made available to NBC News while they were reporting this story.
  • In fact, a joint investigation of Jevon Lawson and his co-conspirators by the ATF, DEA, IRS and Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force began as early as 2007.1 A related 2011 plea agreement also indicated that law enforcement in the state of Washington had a confidential source linking Lawson to an OxyContin drug ring in California in 2007.2
  • By June 2008, law enforcement had (1) executed undercover purchases of OxyContin from Lawson, (2) searched his residence, and (3) obtained admissions from him that he was a drug dealer selling OxyContin sourced from Los Angeles.3
  • Furthermore, a Los Angeles County law enforcement investigation of Lake Medical was underway in the first half of 2009, which resulted in an undercover recording of a Lake Medical employee in June in which he stated he was able to obtain and sell OxyContin.4
  • As of September 2009, DEA was actively investigating Dr. Eleanor Santiago in connection with her conduct at the Lake Medical Clinic and making arrests and seizures in connection with its investigation.5
  • Publicly available court documents demonstrate that the wholesaler, McKesson, reported suspicious activity at Lake Medical to DEA in October 2009 (607-14); McKesson personnel understood DEA to have directed them to continue business as usual with Lake Medical to avoid interfering with the investigation.6
  • McKesson made this 2009 report to DEA only one month after Purdue’s sales manager “sounded the alarm” to her superiors about Lake Medical and one year after the agency had Lawson’s confession, so the theory of causation is illogical and belied by publicly available facts.
  • Law enforcement were aware of both Lake Medical in Los Angeles and Lawson in Everett, and diligently investigating, but we simply point out that the alleged failure of Purdue to notify law enforcement directly was of no moment because law enforcement already knew.


1 Docket 39-2 

Docket 88

3 Docket 39-2

4 Docket Nos. 494 and 494-5

Docket 648-13

6 Docket 607-17