Agents raid Las Vegas pharmacy in Jackson death probe
Federal agents raided a Las Vegas pharmacy Tuesday, looking for evidence that Michael Jackson's physician bought powerful drugs that might have contributed to the superstar's June 25 death.
A spokesman with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confirmed to AFP that the two-hour raid by DEA officers and police of Applied Pharmacy Services in a Las Vegas suburb was related to the investigation that has centered on Jackson's personal doctor, Conrad Murray.
"Yes, I can confirm this is part of the Michael Jackson investigation," said Jose Martinez, a DEA spokesman.
Martinez said the pharmacy was served a search warrant and a notice of inspection, giving law enforcement officials authority to examine all records.
The DEA searched the pharmacy for documents, computer hard drives, prescriptions and shipping information of controlled substances that may have been administered to Jackson by Murray, entertainment website TMZ.com reported.
The raid came two weeks after all-day searches at the Las Vegas home and office of Murray, who was with Jackson when the singer died at age 50.
A team of seven DEA agents, accompanied by several officers from the Las Vegas and Los Angeles police departments descended on the nondescript facility housed in a strip mall and emerged two hours later carrying a small box and some file folders.
Calls and emails to Timothy Lopez, the chief pharmacist at Applied Pharmacy, were not returned Tuesday.
A source close to the investigation said that materials obtained during the July 28 raids at Murray's home and office revealed that some supplies for Jackson has been obtained at Applied Pharmacy.
Warrants from the July 28 raids on Murray's home and office showed that prosecutors are investigating whether Jackson's death may have been a case of manslaughter while under Murray's care.
Those warrants indicated that officers were searching for evidence that Murray had prescribed the powerful anesthetic propofol, whose trade name is Diprivan, to Jackson, in either the singer's name or that of one of 18 other aliases. Murray's lawyers have maintained their client is innocent.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Monday it had completed a "thorough and comprehensive" autopsy of Michael Jackson but would not release the report, including long-awaited toxicology results, until police complete their investigation.
Los Angeles Police Department said it had requested that "the cause and manner of death remain confidential" and also asked that an existing security hold on the results of the coroner's investigation remain in place.
"In accordance with this request, the Department of Coroner will not comment on its completed investigation," the coroner's office said, adding that it hoped to "maintain the integrity of the investigation."