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Police Chief: No. 1 Priority 'To Dismantle That Illegal Enterprise'

Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley talks to Patch about investigating Premier Medical Management, Inc., a suspected pill mill in the city limits.

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published January 25, 2013.)


See updates to this story:

 Jan. 28, 2:30 p.m.: Charges Announced for Four Arrested in Lilburn 'Pill Mill' Operation

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It was the curiosity of concerned residents that first led Lilburn Police to begin investigating Premier Medical Management, Inc., a suspected pill mill on Lawrenceville Highway.

About a year ago, Police Chief Bruce Hedley said citizen complaints started pouring in, pharmacists started complaining and suspicious vehicles with out-of-state tags kept showing up at the facility.

Located at 3993 Lawrenceville Highway, the clinic's proximity to Berkmar High School was particularly disturbing to the police chief. Some 3,000 students attend the school.

"It was a big concern to me when I learned that it was in such a close proximity of one of the county's largest high schools," Hedley said. "There's almost a contiguous border from the parking lot of the clinic to the real property line of the school."

"It was my No. 1 priority in 2012," he added. "My No. 1 priority was to dismantle that illegal enterprise and shut them down because they're doing nothing but spreading poison in our community.

"And, I was deathly afraid that somehow the children of that school would get connected to that pain clinic."

Pain Clinic Raid

After starting their own investigation, Lilburn Police turned to federal authorities. And, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) became the lead investigative agency in the case. Lilburn Police supplied resources to assist when needed, Hedley said.

Finally, on Jan. 24, Lilburn Police along with federal and county law enforcement raided the pain management clinic. Records were seized; other evidence gathered. Hedley captured Dr. George Williams, a licensed gynecologist who was practicing medicine at the clinic, as he tried to flee. 

Along with Williams, Hedley said there were three other suspects who were indicted on federal charges related to the operation of the pain management clinic. At least two of those were Larry and Randy Webman, brothers whose family has a long history of fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta did not immediately return requests for details of the Jan. 24 indictment. But, Hedley said several federal indictments and warrants were issued for a total of four suspects, including the front office manager of the facility.

According to Georgia Secretary of State data, Randy Webman is the registered agent of Premier Medical Management, Inc., Larry Webman is the chief financial officer; and a New York attorney Don Secunda is the chief executive officer. 

The state business filling dates back to March 2011. According to city officials, the company acquired its occupational tax certificate for the 2012 -2013 year.

'Worth the Effort'

"They weren't in operation long before we started to receive the complaints," Hedley said. "It wasn't much longer after they started their operation (that) we started to investigate them."

In February 2012, in fact, the city approved a moratorium on issuing licenses for pain management clinics. By August, Lilburn City Council approved an ordinance making it tougher for such businesses to set up shop.

In the meantime, Hedley said he "personally received a number of phone calls from pharmacists around the country concerning the scripts that Dr. Williams was writing." After about three months, local pharmacists stopped providing services to patients with prescriptions from that doctor, as well.

More and more local municipalities are having to battle illegal peddlers of pain medicine. Georgia has seen an increase in recent years of the problem, as shady doctors cross the Florida border. 

More municipalities need to be serious about strict legislation to keep crooked clinic operators out of communities, Hedley said. He's confident that the latest arrests in Lilburn will serve as a warning to any such persons.

"It was certainly worth the effort," Hedley said of the yearlong investigation, "because even if they wouldn't have come to Lilburn and we wouldn't have had this problem, and they would have done it somewhere else, and it still would have poisoned our communities."

See also:

John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 02:12 PM
And now I have further proof with this police chief's confession that local pharmacists have been calling him. If this is true and they have been calling him it is more likely they are only looking for reasons not to fill these scripts. I absolutely cannot get my prescriptions filled at any pharmacy anywhere in Georgia. Fortunately I have a good relationship with a local pharmacist here where I live who has been filling my prescriptions and has admitted he has been subtly threatened by the agent in charge of his district for doing so. Not only does this violate Interstate Commerce Laws but it illegally discriminates against an entire class of Americans...Americans who are already suffering from painful debilitating medical conditions. Now, in order to bolster the profits of the liquor manufacturers, people like me pay the price.What other reason can there be for these government agency's to conspire together against me? It can't possibly be due to their concerns for my welfare or the effects I might suffer if I stop taking my pain medications cold turkey. The DEA drove past several liquor stores on their way to Premier to arrest Dr. Williams. That says it all don't it? This is nothing but a conspiracy, paid for by very wealthy liquor manufacturers, to eliminate access to pain medications altogether. So these bureaucrats attack both the issuers and dispensers of these medications without regard for the health of the innocent and sick people caught in the crossfire.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 02:22 PM
And you, the general public, are being duped by their media partners into believing this is just another criminal enterprise. The DEA doesn't really want to build a case against Dr.Williams. They are using fear and terrorist tactics to coerce other doctors across the nation not to issue prescriptions for any drug that might compete with the liquor makers if diverted. DHEC, the DEA and any number of other government entities are the liquor makers lap dogs. This arrest is a smear campaign to drive another pain clinic out of business. Another proof that I am right in my assessment is in the sheer number of patients from Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio who come to Premier for treatment. These are the three primary states where the big liquor mills have become entrenched. Consequently, these are the three states in the USA with the strictest laws and most zealous enforcement against any kind of treatment clinics that focus on pain. Well, duh...does it take a rocket scientist to figure out why these poor suffering people are FORCED to drive to Georgia once a month to get the proper medical attention they desire that enables us to live something close to a normal life? But of course, being healthy and busy caught up in the rat race of your own existence means the average Healthy American could care less. Chronic pain is a very real medical problem worldwide. It isn't going to evaporate at the whims of liquor mills and liquor has no medical contribution to make.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Look at the history of alcohol. Here's another history lesson that you likely never received in high school. Prohibition was never about outlawing alcohol. There was more liquor flowing during Prohibition than any other time in its history. But there were also very sophisticated GANGSTERS who wanted full control of its manufacture and sale nationally. The problem was in the manufacture. There were simply too many mom and pop operations especially back up in the mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Ohio. These gangsters had to get a grip on these people before they would have full control of the alcohol industry. So they bought enough politicians to get a bill passed that started Prohibition. Now they had a legal means of shutting down all these small time liquor stills and they went after them with a vengeance. meanwhile, they raked in big and bigger bucks supplying the speak easys with all the liquor they could push. Finally, once they had shut down and/or assimilated enough of the small timers they simply gave these same crooked politicians the nod to go ahead and vote out Prohibition. Now they were solidly entrenched in those same locations that were once inundated with small businesses and that is where it stands to this very day. But these gangsters didn't just go away. They learned some valuable techniques in making their enterprises more profitable. Primarily the learned to buy the leverage they needed through government. Which is what they have done again.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 03:05 PM
What people like myself are caught in the middle of is an operation that is financed by some of the wealthiest and most politically powerful people on earth. They have a problem and it's called prescription drugs. Apparently they don't own enough interest in the pharmaceutical manufacturers domain. They aren't making any money from prescription drugs and are seeing prescription drugs as cutting into their liquor and street drug profits. So they have financed a campaign to eliminate access to all prescription narcotics regardless of the circumstances. That is where this is headed. Of course, let one of them or their family fall into a circumstance where pain medication is needed and they have no problem resorting to such medications for their own immediate interests. But the rest of us can go to hell. These people are not Americans. They are the real traitors to the Constitution of the USA and they have both the means and the motive to orchestrate this concerted effort by government bureaucracies to keep their profits from suffering during this recession. That...and that alone, is what is fueling this madness. The DEA needs to justify its existence. Local law enforcement are being duped and used to further these aims just as media is being used to put the proper SPIN on it. That's what these last two articles are about and there will likely be more to follow. Gotta sell them rags, right? .
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 03:15 PM
But you'd sell more papers and make more money if you took a stand, for once in your existence, against this sort of chicanery. You should be the voice that really protects your community from being used by these gangsters to enlarge their profit margins. You should be encouraging your community to rally around Dr. Williams and Premier Medical Clinic and to welcome travelers such as myself to your community with open arms. Even if there are a few people using Dr. Williams to attain prescriptions so they can sell them, this is no reason to punish everyone who will suffer from this kind of mentality. There is no logical reason to expect a doctor to be clairvoyant and to know what his every patient is doing with their medications. Premier takes all the necessary steps and is very dogmatic about that. They drug test me at every appointment. Provide me with the best physical therapy I have ever had. Dr. Earl, their physical therapist, was the physical therapy physician for the Israeli Olympic Soccer team for many years. When he immigrated to America he worked for about five years as a physical therapist for the New York Giants professional football team. He has a genuine compassion for people and especially people in my condition. I am required to have an MRI done once a year and quarterly blood tests are given. They use special tamper proof prescription pads and type in the prescriptions. It would be almost impossible to forge or alter such prescriptions.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 03:35 PM
If I were a gambling man I'd wager my life savings that if you hired a team of third party doctors to sift through all this alleged "evidence" taken from that clinic, (patients medical records), they won't find diddly to even justify this local police chief's suspicions and investigation. I mean, look at what he used to justify his involvement: A few complaints from local citizens about too many cars in the parking lot with out of state tags. Really? Are you serious? Rather than welcome the business you automatically jump to the conclusion this is evidence of illegal activity? What planet is this cop from? Oh wait, he got a few calls from local pharmacists who were...by the way...being motivated by threats to their livelihoods by DHEC. A real cop would have been concerned about his citizens enough to get to the bottom of these threats rather than climb on board the liquor makers train. You guys are in need of a new police chief. This turkey is not looking out for your best interests. What does he want? A community that turns a cold shoulder to interstate commerce? How would you feel if you were in our state seeking medical attention and we turned you away because you are from Georgia? What would you think? But you expected Dr. Williams to discriminate against people coming to him for medical attention because they were not residents of Georgia? How stupid is that? I thought this was the UNITED States of America? Get a fricking life people!
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I have a word for DHEC in general and the DEA specifically: I know your agency WASNOT created to conduct a legitimate war against drugs. You are the same as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. You were created to gain control of the global manufacturing processes of these drugs you were allegedly hired to eviscerate. And you have done your job just as effectively as they did in the late 30's and early 40's. You...the DEA...now oversee the manufacture and distribution of ALL illegal drugs coming into the USA. While your sister agency in the ATF oversees the alcohol trade for your mutual gangster bosses. DHEC is just a peon in this behemoth operation. But none of you could foresee or plan for the current economic maelstrom that is devastating your drug trafficking. So you are now busily employed in taking the only logical measure left available to you, and that is to eliminate as much competition as you can possibly eliminate in as short a time frame as you can muster. Legally your financial foundation is on shaky grounds. The US government is having a hard time financing your continued existence. While you nummies were busy conducting clandestine operations in the jungles of Columbia and the mountains of Afghanistan, the American industrial foundation was busy moving its base of operations to China and other third world countries leaving your financial base in jeopardy as more and more tax dollars left this nation...and for good reason.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 05:11 PM
So now you are approaching the same ground that Nazi Germany's bureaucracy was forced to tread and you know where that led. With the stroke of a pen, millions of Jews were declared homeless, without a country and the legal status that provided. So the likes of you were employed in rounding up these hapless souls and delivering them to Aushwitz where they were worked as slave labor in a rubber plant to the point of death, after which they were then marched to the gas chambers and summarily murdered. Do you really think your gangster bosses, up the food chain, won't succomb to the temptation to employ the same dehumanizing tactics as Hitler used to convert Germany's bureaucracy into a child murdering monster, in order to preserve their status and wealth? Are you really that naive? You would be well advised that it aint no fun when the rabbit has the gun. Americans are not Germans or Jews and we ain't as stupid as your ignorant gangster bosses think we are. Only, in lieu of Jews, this time around the victims are likely to be the elderly, sick and disabled. Anyone who qualifies to receive Medicare, Medicaid and Disability benefits. You, or one of your sister agencies will be ordered to gather them all up and deliver them to a central location where they can be better cared for. After all, if the taxpayer is footing the bill why not streamline the operation and save a few hundred million dollars...right? This is how it started in Germany but different rationalizations were used.
John Q Public January 26, 2013 at 05:24 PM
But then, after a few years and everything appears to be working smoothly, suddenly some idiot pulls the plug on the wrong canister and unleashes a plume of nerve gas that kills every single one of them, including the staff employed to care for them. Ooops...with no credible explanation for why there was a nerve gas facility just a mile down the road from where all these money drains were being housed. Suddenly a huge burden on the economy and the federal budget has been eliminated. So what if you have to pay out a few hundred million in death benefits? In the long run the money saved will be in the trillions. And all those new applications for such benefits will mysteriously dry up further alleviating this burden. If this sounds dramatically outrageous, just imagine how it would have sounded to the bureaucracies of pre-nazi Germany if someone had warned them they would be responsible for the murder of millions of innocent men, women and children just a few years down the road. If someone had told you a few years ago you would be actively engaged in arresting doctors, terrorizing and threatening pharmacists, and just generally creating a huge roadblock for millions of Americans who need access to certain pharmacuetical drugs for treatment of their medical conditions, what would your response have been?
Diana January 27, 2013 at 05:28 AM
For the love some one give John Q Public some freaking meds!! This manifesto has to be the result of delusional thinking. Lets see because of pill mills, hospitals and legit doctors can't get pain meds for their patients. The U.S. uses 80 percent more pain meds than any other country. Whats the point, you can't hold a conversation with a drug addict. Yes that is what you are, you are addicted to your pain meds.
John Q Public January 27, 2013 at 07:53 AM
Lets see how this works...anyone who speaks out against this establishment has to be either a drug addict or a lunatic. Is that your point sweetie? And do you have any evidence to support your contention that hospitals are being deprived pain medications because of pill mills? If you know of such a hospital with this problem just have them contact my pharmacist cause his pharmacy always keeps plenty of such medications in stock. As to your alleged statistics citing 80% as a figure could you supply your source for this citation? And while your at it could you articulate what you think is the relevance of this claim to anything I stated? Thank you in advance for your participation and, by the way, I'm always available for reasoned conversation.
DEA thugs January 27, 2013 at 06:41 PM
So they shut down this clinic because they didn't like it.....no mention of any laws broken. It is not illegal for a doctor to treat patients....and it is not illegal for a patient to travel o get medical care. Hope they're ready for a lawsuit since none of reasons they have have anything to do with any federal or state laws.
DEA thugs January 27, 2013 at 06:55 PM
These agents took an oath to uphold the Constitution yet trample all over it
John Q Public January 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Yes, they took an oath to uphold a specific interpretation of the Articles of the Constitution. And that, my friend, is how they can lay down and sleep at night without questioning the effect their actions generate over time. Gangsters employ smarmy lawyers to re-interpret the meaning and application of specific words in any given Article of the Constitution in order to confer upon the current powers that be wider latitude in the use of force and coercion which is the only currency any government has to deal in. This is why appointment of Supreme Court Justices becomes such a political battle. Ultimately any citizen can challenge the application of the laws enacted in court where the focus will fall on precedent and interpretation of the law in application. And to make matters worse bureaucracy adds additional layers of interpretation as they develop their strategies of implementation. But Americans have become complacent and even churlish towards anyone who dares to challenge these bureaucracies as evidenced by the response above from Dianne. Anyone with the gumption to speak up when they see a foul must be either a lunatic or a drug addict. I would prefer either of these to being a slave. Unfortunately, not many Americans left who agree with me.
Diana January 27, 2013 at 07:19 PM
John, sweetie? Seriously do you look down on all women or just those that don't agree with you? You don't call me sweetie and I won't call you a drug addict how about that? http://www.painkillerabuse.us/content/prescription-drug-statistics.html http://abcnews.go.com/US/prescription-painkillers-record-number-americans-pain-medication/story?id=13421828 If you don't think this country is in serious trouble then your kidding yourself. Even the world of Hollywood took on the pill mill situation, last season Justified was centered around the illegal pain med situation. Or watch Deadlies Catch Jake Andersons father went for a drug buy and was never seen again. It starts out innocently enough, a back operation, pain meds, more pain meds, more and more pain meds. Doctor says no more pain meds, your addicted and you'll do anything to get your pain meds. Two years later your dad is dead at the age of 75, after having spent his entire life as a hero to his children, labeled a drug addict. So please don't tell me how wonderful pain meds are and how safe they are. BTW the makers of oxycontin was sued because they represented the drug as safe and non addicting. Whats the difference between a doctor and a drug pusher? A drug pusher doesn't charge for a office visit.
John Q Public January 27, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Wow...why do I get the impression I'm in need of a dictionary to keep up with all the ad hom and subtle accusations from this person? So now I'm a sexist, a lunatic and a drug addict. I suppose this individual thinks she has an argument when in fact she doesn't have a moral leg to stand on. She's hyping up the drug addiction factor hoping we'll gloss over the alcoholism rate in this country which is ten times higher than all the drugs together. So why is she on board the hypocrisy train? As long as the United States government and its fifty state governments and all their local entities continue to enforce the Controlled Substance laws of 1970 Americans are living under the shadow of an illegal system that is in direct violation of both the spirit and intent of our Constitution. And, just to make matters worse, they exist in direct violation of their own semi-legal laws such as the federal Anti-trust laws which prohibit business practices that restrict competition. It's a genuine tragedy to watch people dancing around these issues like this person is want to do. She wants us to pretend this action against Premier is moral and legal and justified while she has a drink or two with her friends. Take a look at the liquor stats and tell us why we can buy all this rot gut poison we want, and in direct eyesight of that same high school?Until you clean this up, you are wasting band width.
Diana January 27, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Now why would she think your a sexiest sweetie. You wanted my links and I provided them. Your not going to listen to reason because your blinded by your own ego, my gosh has there ever been such a manifesto posted on any topic. She thinks you should quit boo hooing and get off drugs that what she thinks. AND BTW she doesn't drink so your imagination has run away with you again, thats right she doesn't drink nor do drugs yes there are a few of us left. She does own a gun just in case she gets her house broken into by someone wanting to lift a few items to pay for their pain meds. She thinks your a narcissist and she thinks the world would be a better place with out pain meds and she is hoping some chemist some where comes up with non habit forming pain blocker for those who are really in need.
John Q Public January 27, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Your concern is touching. Unfortunately the holier-than-thou attitude oozing from your every word just eviscerates any credibility you had to even discuss this issue. So, with that having been said, whatever 'she" thinks is, as it has been from her first contribution to this thread, totally irrelevant. BTW, given the current administrations penchant for the executive order, it isn't likely you'll be allowed to keep that gun much longer. Oh, and another BTW, as an after thought...those web sites you linked to support those statistics you came here spouting are either media sites or government agency collected info. That means both sources have an agenda and an ax to grind. The one, the media, to sell more advertisement. The other, government agencies, to keep those tax dollars flowing into their budgets...thus skewing the facts is just part of their game...so your stats are unreliable sources. I'm beginning to suspect Michelle Obama is the one that's really running this administration and she looks like the health and fitness type. You know sweetie, the ones who want to ram their lifestyle ideals down everyone elses throat and wouldn't hesitate to use the machinery of state to further those ends if available.
John Q Public January 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM
I wonder how these health and fitness nuts would feel if they woke up living under a regime that forced or coerced everyone to drink and do drugs and enacted laws to ensure people complied? It always amazes me how pious these fruitcakes become because they have their lifestyle and want to shove it up everyone else's arse. They can't seem to grasp how addicted they are to water, food, sunshine and clean air. But they don't have any compunction about forcing their views, by any means available, upon the rest of the world.
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 01:47 AM
here's another interesting fact that supports my contention this is all about preserving the liquor makers profits http://www.healthsentinel.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2668:more-hospitalized-from-nsaid-bleeding-than-all-american-war-casualties&catid=5:original&Itemid=24 They allow over-the-counter drugs on the market that do more damage than oxycodone but oxycodone is this demon drug...riiight
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 01:54 AM
That's 16,500 deaths versus 3000 deaths from oxycodone. Now let's take a look at alcohol statistics: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6089353/ns/health-addictions/t/alcohol-linked-us-deaths-year/#.UQXZxB3Ae8A If we're gonna have a battle of the statistics, chew on this one Mr. police chief. How does it feel to know you're a patsy for the liquor market?
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 02:03 AM
The reason they're not shutting down the Tylenol and Ibuprofin industry has to do with the fact it isn't in competition with the liquor mills. As we can see the government doesn't give a rats arse about our health so this campaign against pain clinics is motivated by something else altogether.
Robbie Anglin January 28, 2013 at 03:40 PM
How do I get my records?
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Good question?
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Is the clinic closed today?
Diana January 28, 2013 at 03:50 PM
you need to get a job. seriously. ps don't pawn your addiction off as a medical need, any person can read between the lines and see what your all about. My holier than thou self is tired of communicating with a person whose mind is no longer his own. I like a good debate but clearly you've got issues that makes this a less than fair conversation.
Robbie Anglin January 28, 2013 at 04:59 PM
They aren't answering there phones so I suppose . But this is messed up this the only place that helps me I have 3 ruptured discs in my back and their physical therapy and medicine have been the only things that help me for the last 8 months
John Q Public January 28, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I know what you mean Robbie, I'm really going to miss Earl. He had me on a therapy regimen that he used with quarterbacks and it was taking a lot of the stress off the vertebrae in my lower back. This really sucks and I don't have a clue how to get my records. When I called Thursday some cop answered the phone and acted like the whole mess was funny.
mandy February 13, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Does anyone know how I can get a copy of my medical records? The voicemail box is full (of course) and I need my records. Thanks!
Joy L. Woodson February 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM
@Mandy... That is a very good questions. Maybe the police can tell you.

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