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Suspected Illegal Pain Clinic Raided by Federal Agents, Lilburn Police

Police arrest Dr. George Williams, a physician at Premier Medical on Lawrenceville Highway, in connection with a suspected pill mill.

Local and federal authorities raid a suspected pill mill in Lilburn, Ga., on January 24, 2013.
Local and federal authorities raid a suspected pill mill in Lilburn, Ga., on January 24, 2013.
(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

Jan. 25, 6 p.m.: Police Chief: No. 1 Priority 'To Dismantle That Illegal Enterprise'

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Law enforcement officials raided Thursday a Lilburn pain management clinic suspected of dispensing prescription medicine illegally, according to a Fox 5 Atlanta report.

In addition, the report showed that Dr. George Williams was arrested and is suspected of running the clinic as an illegal operation under the name of Premier Medical, located at 3993 Lawrenceville Highway. The location abuts Berkmar High School.

Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, members of the Gwinnett Metro Narcotics Task Force and the Lilburn Police Department were part of the Jan. 24 raid. 

Patch first learned of the suspected pain clinic in August, when Lilburn City Council passed an ordinance making it tougher for so-called pill mills to operate within city limits.

Typically, these pill mills have been found to dispense illegal amounts of oxycodone or hydrocodone to dealers and drug addicts in exchange for cash payments.

-- Read more on Lilburn's efforts to set pain clinic standards here. --

Following the city council's action, an anonymous tipster forwarded information to Patch regarding concerns about Premier Medical. The tipster said many suspicious vehicles parked at the clinic, making the parking lot overflow at times. The person also complained to local and county police.

"Don't know what else to do," the Patch reader said. "We can't put up with places like that, and especially so near our schools."

"We do not want this in the community," the person also said.

When Patch visited the clinic last year, numerous vehicles with out-of-state tags and an armed guard where present. One patient asked if a Patch editor knew how to get back to Ohio.

Patch subsequently followed up with Lilburn Police officials, who said they were looking into it. Not until Thursday, were federal officials able to make an arrest in connection with the suspected pill mill.

Pill mills are increasingly becoming a problem in Georgia, as Florida's tough crackdown of the practice runs shady doctors, and business operators, across the border.

Georgia officials aren't exactly making it a tough choice.

According to a December Wall Street Journal report, Georgia has no law requiring pain clinics to be owned by medical professionals, no law empowering the state's medical board to punish crooked clinic operators and doctors and no database tracking the number of prescriptions each clinic writes.

That's why Lilburn's effort to pass strict requirements for pain management clinics became essential.

"They're spreading pure poison into the community, nothing short of that," Police Chief Bruce Hedley said previously about illegal pain clinics. "That's my opinion."

Among other things, the city's ordinance requires that pain clinics be run by a board-eligible physician with pain management fellowship training or certification, or a hospital-affiliated clinic managed by such a person.

A business found to be not in agreement with the city's rules faces suspension of its business license or revocation.

-- Do you think federal, state and local officials are doing enough to eliminate pill mills? Let us know in the comment section. --

Patch will follow up on this story as more information develops.

Richard Ferris January 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Another job well done by the Lilburn Police Department and other agencies. Thank you!
John Q Public January 25, 2013 at 04:39 PM
I wonder why this police chief doesn't share that same sentiment about alcohol? You wanna talk about pure poison. These local rags are so clearly biased and ignorant of the broader more relevant issues facing America that these law enforcement operations are just a precursor of what's coming. While reporters focus in on a few comments made by fools who think they live in a perfect world the government continues to rake in billions from the liqueur makers thanks to their monopoly on Americans pain and pleasure. America is going to collapse in its own pseudo pious stupidity.
LADYAPRIEL January 25, 2013 at 05:53 PM
eventually those of use with real problems and chronic pain are not going to be able to get our medication from any doctors, in all of America much less Georgia.I understand that the fing cops want to do something to make the news,headlines,and look like the good ole boys saving the day.But as the American people we have the right to choose our own health-care,and to be PAIN FREE!!!!! To also have some sort of quality of life an with my type of pain I have no quality of life at all as I'm sure most of you out there do.but with my meds I can have @ least some sort of my life back. THIS HAS GOT TO BE RESOLVED SOMEWAY!!!!!!
Joy L. Woodson January 25, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I actually have chronic pain, and I know that there are numerous legitimate reasons for doctors to prescribe pain killers. But, statistics also show that accidental overdose of these types of medicines is the leading cause of death in the U.S. So, it'll be interesting to see how states take to handling this growing problem.
Roger Bevins January 25, 2013 at 10:59 PM
I have been a patient of Dr. Williams for over a year and i have to be heard on what kind of Doctor he is. Other than being a kind and concerned doctor for his patients he is a man that has gave me my quality of life back since my chronic pain has basically taken my life away at age 46. I personally have seen the Doctor take new patients MRI'S examines them and if the patient has legitimate pain based on the MRI report he is more than welcome to help the patient in need of his care. Also i have noticed DR. Williams turn away patients after examining the MRI of patients that does not seem to have legitimate pain based on the MRI report and return their money on numerous occasions. I for one am a patient in need of a Dr. like Mr. Williams that cares and knows how to treat his patients with care and concern for their quality of life. If a person like myself has no insurance and needs care from Premier Medical Management and Dr. Williams i do not see any reason why i cannot pay my office visit in cash, last time i went to the hospital they took cash why not the pain management office? Where does a person go to get quality health care from a Dr. without someone always saying they are a Pill Mill?
Carol January 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Gwinnett County has many qualified and caring doctors that provide quality care. Just look in the phone book or a hospitals web site. I am sure that they take cash. I have paid in cash many times without a problem.
Jeff gonzalez January 26, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Criminals !!!!!!!!!! Nothing but criminals and should be put away for life. These people are breaking every law in the book. I don't know if the clinic or doctor broke any laws, but I know for a fact the DEA and good ol'e boy network of drug agents are criminals. They take direction from Purdue Pharma's NADDI, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. Purdue is a criminal empire that manufacturers a patented opiate that is time released. They make it time released to profit by having patients take the medication daily even if they are not in pain. Pain medication should be taken when the patient is in pain, when a prescription bottle last six months the manufacturer doesn't make money. Chronic pain doesn't mean constant pain. Many chronic pain patients have intermittent pain that comes and goes. Purdue markets their patented brand for use on patients with moderate to sever pain and wine and dine doctors and law enforcement daily. They were criminally convicted of lying about OxyContin and it's propensity of addiction in 2007, and then fined 635 million dollars. Part of the deal required them to pay the DEA hundreds of millions of dollars a year and payoff the local and state thugs through NADDI grants. It's all on Google, you just need to know were to look.
Roger Bevins January 26, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Thank You for not judging and expressing your concern.
Jeff gonzalez January 26, 2013 at 03:59 AM
U.S Attorney General , Eric Holder, was the lawyer for Purdue Pharma, which is how he became the atty general. Now as DEA mob boss thug piece of shit, he gets to drive out generic prescribing of opiates to legitimate pain patients and then endorses Purdues garbage like its the wonder drug of the century. Purdue rips off insurance companies and Medicaid for billions a year, as this garbage cost ten times more than generic. They say if you can't beat the competition, arrest them.
Jeff gonzalez January 30, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Its funny that Patch used a photo of a bottle of Purdue Pharmas OxyContin on this article. If Premier was prescribing those, they would have been praised by the DEA/Purdue.
Gill Daniels January 31, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Jeff. you hit the nail on the head..but be careful..remember who is in power..its no mistake this all is going down. BE CAREFUL please
rabbit February 01, 2013 at 05:17 AM
I spoke with the clinic and southern health as well daily. you can't see 50 to100 patients a day and they get the right treatment. a patient visit is 30 min. I hate dea as well, I've had a run in too. but think why are they driving all day from across the states. if you hurt driving is the worst thing. all closed up can't move, that's the first sign the patient was shopping. and then can wait all day in your offices for pills. OK get real. now not to mention traveling over the state line that's drug trafficking if caught. you should of seen 25 patients a day or less and not but close in state patients.
rabbit February 01, 2013 at 05:22 AM
I for one can say I had to discharge daily lots of patients for shopping all of our clinics. if you didn't catch them you were letting drugie and pill head abusers get away. I for one shut down a lot scaring these clinics. so most of patients are not real pain patients and you didn't do your job as a personal care taker to find this out.
Steven Kurt February 15, 2013 at 12:07 AM
I went to Dr.Williams since he opened in Ga. Here are the facts about this clinic; They never solicited paying cash. They stopped taking cash payments this past summer. They never sold prescription drugs of any type. You where given a prescription that the patient took to their pharmacy. Once arriving at the clinic, I had to take a drug test "every time". Your vitals where taken & off to P.T. After this regime, then you where seen by Dr. Williams. If you failed the drug test, you where given one & final warning. If you didn't participate in the therapy, you didn't see the Dr. Your paperwork had to be current. If your paperwork was not in order, you where not allowed to see the Dr., cut & dry. There you go, the real truth from a real patient. I have zero motivation for writing this post, just wanted everyone to know the facts. I'm certain this isn't what anyone wants to hear who thinks this Dr. was a "Drug Dealer" and it was a blessing to get this type off the streets and in prison. I'm a middle age professional who has some serious pain issues. I make decent money and married with a great family. I didn't need medication to sell or "deal" as it's called. Sometimes the truth hurts, huh? Similar to the pain I will have to live with and endure since the only Dr. that understood my problem is now a criminal.
salsa bird March 06, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I WAS ALSO A PATIENT OF DR GEORGE WILLIAMS. EVERYTHING WAS DONE BY THE BOOK WITH MRI THAT HAD TO BE RECENT AND SHOW LEGITIMATE REASON FOR CHRONIC PAIN. ALSO UA EVERY TIME AND PHYSICAL THEROPY. THERE WAS NO CRIMINAL INTENT OF ANY WAY,ALL HE DID WAS HELP PEOPLE GET THEIR LIVES BACK SO THEY COULD HOLD SOME SORT OF QUALITY OF LIFE.WHO EVER THINKS THAT IT WAS A PILL MILL FOR DRUG DEALERS N ADDICTS IS A BOGUS COMMENT...CUZ THEY DON'T KNOW.THE DEA SAYS WHAT THEY WANT WITH OUT KNOWING THE ACTUAL FACTS!!!! IF THERE IS.ANYONE THAT KNOWS OF A PLACE THAT WILL HELP PLEASE E MAIL ME SALSABIRD7@AOL.COM...
Michelle BURCH May 01, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Hey I also was a patient of dr Williams and he was a good Dr, does anyone know how you get your medical records?
Michelle BURCH May 01, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Does anyone know how to get your records from Dr George Williams's office?
Norman Smith June 01, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Did you find out how to get your file from doctor william's office??
Willow Rose Sierra October 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM
I was also a patient of Dr. Williams. I went to see him from Kentucky because you can't get decent pain mgmt in this state. He not only took cash, but also took credit cards. I always had to drop so he could see that I was taking what he prescribed. I also saw him turn a young man away whose MRI obviously wasn't HIS MRI, and the man's money was refunded as well. The only mistake I can see is having the location of the clinic close to a school. Other than that, what can you find to really complain about? I believe that alcohol kills a whole lot more people than taking drugs and it's legal... People tend to overlook that fact while they sit back in their fancy chairs sipping a cool drink, complaining about those awful pill mills....
Allan Roberts December 09, 2013 at 06:14 PM
who is a good dr in ga to go to since they closed

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