Lawsuit by Doctors in Indiana Against DEA agents and the City

Lawsuit by Doctors in Indiana Against DEA agents and the City

Four doctors in Carmel, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis, have sued the city and government officials responsible for the illegal attack on their clinic, Drug Opiate & Recovery Network (DORN), an addiction center prescribing Suboxone, in July, 2014.  The lawsuit asks for compensatory and punitive damages and requests a jury trial. Drs. Larry Ley, founder, George Agapios, Ronald Vierk, and Luella Bangura were all arrested and charged, in spite of years of continuous communication with DEA officials.  This shows the evil in the DEA.

“They destroyed the lives of 12 people that were actively trying to fight this disease, and they threw all the patients who were actively fighting addiction to the curb,” said Dr. Ley. In spite of the charges being dropped against them, or the acquittal of Dr. Ley, shedding the stigma of the raid has proved difficult for the clinic’s doctors and staff since the arrests, which is why they decided to take legal action. The employees have been unable to find other work, even though their records have been expunged.

The attorneys for the city and some of the officials have declared immunity in the lawsuit. That is the protective umbrella by which these unscrupulous DOJ officials are carrying out illegal attacks against legitimate practitioners across the country, and something we, the citizens, must remove. If a government official knowingly attacks an innocent citizen for illegal purposes, that official should be held accountable. If not, this country is moving into a police state. The plaintiffs’ claims of false imprisonment and arrest are also possibly barred due to a probable cause being filed in the case, even though that probable cause was created through perjury. Also, to show how the DOJ colludes in their illegal attacks on doctors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler who was first offended by the behavior of DEA agent Gary Whisenand pushing the case against Dr. Ley, is now representing Whisenand in the civil suit.

The new complaint of false arrest and violating their right to due process is against DEA agent Whisenand, the city of Carmel and Major Aaron Dietz of the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force. But Dietz’s attorneys claim he was acting in good faith and is therefore immune from civil action under law. Good faith—Bull shit!! The target was picked, the case was created.

In the government’s standard propagandizing media collusion when doctors are attacked, Dietz was quoted as saying

“We make no distinction between Dr. Ley and any other drug dealer,” calling the clinic a “pill mill” and Dr. Ley “the Pablo Escobar of Suboxone.” “This type of ruse of a clinic perpetuates the problem.  Those people are still addicted to the drug and this is what’s happening.  This is not fixing the problem,” “Opiate drugs and prescription medication is a gateway to heroin.  That’s why we have heroin is because people get addicted to the opiate drug prescription medication and then go to a cheaper, readily available heroin.”

Now all of those statements are lies stated in public to defame a proper, law-abiding citizen. Shouldn’t that perpetrator of illegal activity (Dietz) have to pay for his crimes?

Dietz and Whisenand worked for months to create a case against the doctors. This is an example of tax dollars being wasted. They spent nine months watching hundreds of patients comes and go from the clinics, compiling more than 26,000 hours of video surveillance in the process. But they were unable to identify a single individual who was paying for a drug they didn’t legitimately need. So they invented some by sending undercover officers to lie about being dependent on opiates. So probable cause was a creation of the government.

Then, despite being told twice by the U.S. attorney’s office that they didn’t have a case against Ley, they arrested Ley and 11 of his employees for “providing Suboxone prescriptions to the undercover officers who had no legitimate medical need for them.

This is a standard practice in all attacks on doctors, and primarily what they are being convicted of: “illegitimate medical practice” because the DEA agents lie to get drugs prescribed that they don’t really need. Who’s committing the crime here? But as the suspected “ringleader” of the operation Ley was booked on $1 million bond, his assets seized, and he spent a month in jail.

One by one the cases against Ley’s 11 co-defendants fell apart, as prosecutors failed to provide enough evidence that a crime had been committed. Dr. Ley was the only DORN defendant to go to trial. The charges against him applied to just 22 prescriptions for Suboxone—all written to police officers pretending to legitimately need them. That fact was not lost on Hamilton County Judge Steven R. Nation, presiding over Ley’s trial.

“I struggled with this case the minute I started to watch the surveillance videos [of the undercover agents],” Nation said, prior to announcing Ley’s acquittal. “I’ve got conditions that people were asking to be treated for [and] the drug that was issued was appropriate for what they were being asked to be treated for.”

Why aren’t more judges seeing this fact? Maybe because they ride the gravy train of convictions too?  Judges are not unbiased in these cases where money is funneled into the Department of Justice and their own courts. Ethics and morals are found less and less in the legal profession.  But at least in this case under this judge, Ley was cleared of all charges after an eight-day bench trial and all other charges against him in other counties where he ran clinics were dropped.

Jim Crum, Dr. Ley’s defense attorney stated what every defense across the country should be stating:

“Our position has been, and the judge agreed, that the judges point that if there was a violation of anything here it’s a licensing issue.” Is the doctor following the rules exactly? “Even if he wasn’t that doesn’t rise to the level of a criminal offense. There was no intent to deal, everything was in the confines of the normal practice of medicine.”

James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel

Dr. Ley was acquitted in August 2016, two years after the raid. Similar clinics across the country are being attacked and the doctors incarcerated. But here, the reason is obvious—a politically motivated effort to help developers in Carmel, directed by Mayor James Brainard. I won’t go into the possible collusion between Mayor Brainard, the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, and Pedcor here. But a detailed review of public records showed that the city had its eye on the property before Dr. Ley became a subject of a criminal investigation. In 2016, just months before the start of Ley’s trial, the city of Carmel revealed a takeover of the property across the street and construct a new mixed-use development called the “PNC Block Redevelopment” involving condominiums, commercial office space, underground parking, and an outdoor beer garden. If the goal was to force Ley out of Carmel, a conviction wasn’t necessary. DORN’s main office in Carmel never reopened, and Ley sold it for a loss to a real-estate investor.

So what is the result of attacks on legitimate clinics like this on the occurrence of addiction? Use Indiana as an example. Thanks in part to the policies of former Indiana Governor Mike Pence, treatment options in Indiana were limited even before Dr. Ley’s arrest. The state ranked 47th out of 50 states for availability of drug and alcohol treatment and Suboxone treatment was among the worst in the nation. Hamilton County ranked ninth out of 92 counties for heroin overdoses. In Indianapolis drug overdose fatalities increased seven-fold since 2000. Hamilton County alone has seen a 45 percent increase in heroin-related deaths. In 2015 more than 300 non-fatal overdoses were recorded in the four counties where Ley practiced. Two years after the closure of the DORN clinic, fatal overdoses in Indiana have risen by double digits, with only three providers certified to prescribe Suboxone in the entire city of Carmel.

This is a excellent example of the mindset of our society.. ONCE CHARGED – ALWAYS GUILTY .. REGARDLESS OF BEING INNOCENT IN THE END ! Did the City of Carmel and the bureaucrats of that city wanted to have the property that Dr Ley owned for development so that the city could generate more property tax revenue  and they would not have to go thru imminent domain and have to pay “fair value” for the property ?

It is claimed that “JUSTICE is BLIND” … but apparently for those within our justice system appear to be driven by GREED and monetary gains the judicial system can reap by “going after” certain segments of the population that has assets/resources that they can fabricate a case against and according to this article many judges and prosecuting attorneys are more than willing to be willing participants in this ruse.

At one time, Indiana was ranked NUMBER ONE in pharmacy robberies and NUMBER ONE in meth lab busts and then in 2015 had 200 people show up being HIV positive along with Hep B & C..  in small (pop 25,000) Scott County in south central Indiana.. which DNA testing showed that abt 85% was from a single source. Meaning that most of those people where involved with sharing needles.

Then Gov Pence – now VP Pence – his response to that outbreak was quite interesting ..  basically he was CLUELESS about how to proceed at first. It was like the fire dept showing up with a 5 lb fire extinguisher when your house is on fire.

31 Responses

  1. Steve, Sen. Lamar Alexander for Tennessee has publicly announced he will try to get the DEA to attend his next pain committee meeting to review the conduct of the DEA/CDC related to the abuse of Doctors and clinics for doing legal pain or opioid addiction treatment. This next hearing could be a great opportunity for the doctors in this case to get on the hearing docket and see if they’re able to speak publicly about the abusive nature of the DEA and local Carmel officials. This would be a fantastic example of over-reach by the DEA and the fact the cases all fell apart would help make the argument for us.

    • I wish I could find the article or post (I think it was a post), written by an elderly lady who was in an exam room when the DEA raids the pain clinic. Several patients were in rooms and the agents came into the rooms in full swat gear with automatic weapons pointed at EVERYONE, then forced the patients to sit in a room individually with an agent for hours, answering questions about the doctor! They were interrogated unlawfully and the use of automatic weapons was BEYOND NECESSARY!!! The doctor was either not even charged or had charges dismissed because they didn’t find anything he was guilty of! I guess he was lucky because I’ve seen cases where they just make crap up!

  2. This is happening ALL over the country. DEA is arresting GOOD doctors!!! Using PDMP(private patient info) to track doctors. Closing clinics, siezing assets, revoking licenses, fining & imprisoning good doctors. Where is the protection for doctors. How can they prescribe to their patients when they are in FEAR!!!!!!!! Patients have been & are being abandoned by doctors or forced to taper off medications after being successfully treated for decades. Overdoses occurring due to prescription opioids/pain medication are less than .02% The REAL opioid crisis is illicit fentanyl ..illegal heroun & illegal street drug plus pill molds used with the very deadly fentanyl. These pills look like the real deal. It’s why there is so MUCH OD/DEATH. In no way should legitimate afflicted patients be forced to suffer due to others & their illegal activity/choices. Please see

  3. When I read stuff like this,my blood begins to boil.I can feel my heart beating inside my chest. I get so aggravated reading or hearing what these morons say. There was a quote or sentence in story above,where some empty suit braindead idiot says “opioids are gateway to heroin!!” I was on “opioids for 25 yrs. I had 85% of “quality of life ” back. I was ready to kill myself until this Dr. after seeing 100s told me to try this medication. I was on my couch 24/7 in pain crying. The man saved my life. Now with this made up “crisis”, Im on a third of the dosage I should be on. Now I take my “days” medicine in the morning to get out of bed and do things I need to do. By 12:00 medication is wearing off and Im back on the couch! I have no quality of life AGAIN! I never “GRADUATED” to heroin!! IDIOT!! Dont know how old story is but I pray these DRs. win this lawsuit and “bury” these “experts” that they never recover. Sorry to vent,But there is only so much one can take. Hopefully after they win lawsuit,they will be able to practice medicine again and take care of their patients.

  4. I hope these Doctors are successful. You are right about we need protection against the government, if not we become a country of state police with no boundaries and that is not what this country was founded on.

    • I worked with one of those doctors for about 2 years (after the arrests and at a different clinic), and I am trying to get information from her about how the lawsuit is going! ALL doctor’s who have been arrested then had charges dropped (and even those who ended up with prison time because they had to take a public defender), need to sue too!! THAT will get the attention of the powers that be, and maybe the targeting of innocent doctors will stop!

  5. We all need to work together more than ever. I see where class actions suits don’t want to be brought for patients but I feel the fact that the DEA has taken the one and maybe only dr. to jail has now put the patients health at risk. This could be the platform that could be used. I know years ago my doctor had to threaten my work about making me work would endanger my health, he threatened to sue them and give me the money. Just a thought

  6. This Mayor has been watching too many episodes of Dick Wolf’s “Law and Order”. Good Faith Lawbreaking is an affirmative defense in the US Second Circuit, inherited from the Colonial Laws of New York and Connecticut. In 48 other States the Civil Rights Act applies without exception. And that Good Faith Lawbreaking doctrine itself may be up for review by our Supreme Court soon. Two cases, Washington v Sessions and US v Zodhiates both call its constitutionality into question. Zodhiates is a privacy case…agents snooped on the man’s cell phone for 2 years, until he accidentally came near a crime scene, then pretended to suspect him of involvement as an excuse to stop and search him. Since their snooping actually proved his innocence of the unrelated offense, agents knew they had no basis for a search. But because this was Buffalo, agents are hiding behind that doctrine.

    In Washington, at issue is a State of Emergency declared by Richard Nixon, under which he suspended action by the Surgeon General to write science based regulations classifying drugs on the DEA Schedules. This temporary emergency Nixon order pretends to supersede all factual inquiry into drug hazards and pretends it gives DEA authority to make up anything the agency wants to say, about real or imaginary drug hazards and how drugs should be Scheduled.

    Washington was brought in US District Court in New York City. Jeff Sessions, defending, used the Good Faith Lawbreaking defense to assert that the Court should make no investigations of an unconstitutional abuse of legislative and judicial powers by a dead president who wrote an illegal order 46 years ago, and that. DEA should be able to continue following the illegal order with no inquiry by the courts as to its legality.

    The Washington case should be studied and applied in Indiana. Good Faith Lawbreaking is not a defense in your Circuit and these patients have a clear case against city and state officials under ADA for Disability Discrimination and for civil rights violations. The DEA agents may also be liable for reasons that are complex. Definitely these cases should move forward and I will help in any way possible.

    • So you’re an attorney in Indiana? I know many pain patients are trying to find an attorney to take their cases and they should be EASY to try! These doctors also need a good attorney! I’m not sure how pain patients cut off of their pain medications can be tried under the ADA, but it’s definitely a civil rights issue! Would love to see a class action started for this (for all states)!

      • By “these doctors”, I’m referring to about all of them that are arrested when they are innocent! Sorry if my above comment seems a little out in left field but I had commented to a different article a few hours ago so I thought that’s the one you had commented on (so then I replied to your comment). Guess I should have read it first!

        • Neither. I’m a writer living in Michigan. I’m trying to organize a charity that does for pain patients, what Martin Luther King’s “Southern Poverty Law Center” did for segregation victims. My goal is to employ a team of lawyers and law students, and keep suing these discrimination cases until we make it too expensive for anyone to attack pain patients for profit…just as Dr King’s legal team made it too expensive to cater to the whims of segregationist bullies. Most businesses were quick to tear down the Whites Only signs, once they saw other businesses getting sued for having them. It took decades to clear the hate out of the vocabulary, but the real die-hard segregationists found themselves paying for the privilege of isolating themselves from African-Americans. They had to create private social clubs in which to practice their preferences, because public accommodations, by law, had to accommodate everybody. The rest of us were free to be normal human beings.

          Yes, there are groups like Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science Church and L Ron Hubbard’a anti-Christian “Church Of Scientology”, that consider us sinful or subhuman because we need drugs for pain. But just like the Segregationists, their extremist views do not entitle them to force us all to move to the back of the bus. If they want to isolate themselves in private echo chambers where they can keep repeating the lies they believe about us, and they are willing to pay the costs of remaining in isolation, they are foolish but within their rights. If they try to deprive us of our right to live, work, and sustain ourselves, they must stop, because we have rights too.

          Did that answer your question?

          I’m looking for people who want to actually WORK on this with me. We have to raise enough funds so that we can employ at least one lawyer to work on these issues for us.

          There are between 70 million and 100 million Americans with chronic pain. If each of us gave a lousy 5 cents a year, that would be $3-1/2 MILLION, enough to put one lawyer to work in each of the 50 States to represent pain patients.

          Next time a Democrat or a Republican asks you for $20 to pay for media advertising so their party can win the next election, ask yourself if it would be better to pay 5 cents to hire a team of lawyers and argue our cases in court. If Martin Luther King hadn’t started suing businesses for discrimination, would those Whites Only signs still be seen?

          • Please join the Don’t Punish Pain Rally group in your state and the national group – on Facebook (just search for these groups and you’ll find them). We are actually making a difference and getting the word out there! We rally nationwide and are trying to get legislation passed right now (and have a commercial running to raise awareness among all pain patients and doctor’s). We have a nationwide rally coming up on May 22 (each state will rally at their chosen location) then June 21, all states will rally at the CDC headquarters. There are many doctor’s in these groups and there is a doctor’s collaborative too. I think we could really help each other!

          • Bob I live on Long Island,N.Y. where it seems we get the dumbest most arrogant politicians.. If I can do anything to help you raise money or attention to this,please let me know. Ive had chronic pain for over 25 yrs now and can not get out of bed in the morning without pain medicine. My email is if there is anything I can do to get this “plan” of yours started. Dennis

            • John, are you a member of DPPR either in your state or the national group? If not, please search Don’t Punish Pain Rally for your state on Facebook and the national group!! We need everyone’s help! When you join the national group, I should see your name and will send a friend request. If you’re in Indiana and join that group, again, I’ll see your name if you introduce yourself lol. We have a nationwide rally coming up May 22 (each state will rally at their chosen location – for Indiana it’s on Monument Circle in Indy (north side of the circle) from 12p-2p. Then June 21 all states will rally at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta from 12p-2p!!! WE NEED EVERYONE WE CAN GET! Numbers matter and it’s also important for the press to see big numbers at each rally! We are also trying to get legislation passed and have a commercial running on Fox News, to raise awareness among pain patients and doctors. I hope you will join us 🙂 We are an action group, not a “support” group (not strictly support where people just go to talk about their problems – we are different).

            • John/Dennis;
              I think the competition for dumbest & most arrogant pols is mighty stiff. I started to say I’d nominate Oregon’s, but the worst people of all here are the ones in charge of the state’s health policies…tho they’re appointed by the governor, so maybe I’ll nominate her.

              I pray we can do something to divert this insanity before we’ve all died of pain/pain related issues or have killed ourselves b/c of untreated pain. Or my soul-searing rage about this national obscenity may carry me off first.

          • The founder of Don’t Punish Pain National Rallies Is beginning to organize The Doctor’s Collaborative and is recruiting attorneys. And Dr. William Mangino, a persecuted doctor that served 8 years in a Federal Prison on false charges spent that time researching everything that is needed to approach all of these issues in any and all courts. His numerous and valuable articles still reside at LinkedIn.

            • Exactly! I didn’t go into too much detail about the doctor’s collaborative but I think he’s a perfect fit – although not a doctor. He needs to talk with Mark Ibsen. I know they are also trying to create a fund for the legal expenses for these doctor’s who are arrested when they are innocent! We need a structured plan to really move forward with taking legal action on the part of both pain patients and doctor’s and I believe he can help!

          • Bob;
            “…isolate themselves in private echo chambers where they can keep repeating the lies they believe about us…”

            You perfectly described the Oregon Health Authority folks in the Chronic Pain Task Farce & other controlling groups in this benighted state. Unfortunately, their extremist views DO entitle them to force us all to move to the back of the bus –or be thrown under its wheels– because they’re the bus drivers.

            I’d certainly be willing to contribute the biggest pittance I could scrape up to a suit. I’ve been teetering on the edge of losing my house for a while b/c i’m so broke (& I do NOT do extravagances of any kind!) but I’ll sell something or somehow come up with some money if only someone would get the thing organized.

            I’m a scientist & have been fighting the Oregon Loons on that basis (which is futile; they don’t care about science or evidence). I’m clueless when it comes to law & politics, but God knows I’d contribute what money I could, & what energy & time & other stuff (writing, proofing) that’d help (and yes, I can write better than this: this is casual).

    • Completely agree. My husband was forced to taper 2016 due to CDC Guideline & per the doctor..
      .fest of FEA & arrest/imprisonment. He suffers daily. Nearly bedbound, increasingly depressed, uncontrolled muscle spasms due to discontinuance of valium taken daily as needed for decades successfully with pain medication. I am a practicing RN. It’s excruciating to watch him disappear to a shell of what he once was. Civil lawsuits are in order for overstepping with the doctors, raids, arrests etc. Pain & suffering for 3 years even tho they know of the immense suffering caused & continue to cause. It’s absolutely inhumane to treat humans this way. We would put a dog out of its misery if it was suffering & lawmakers, DEA, the President, the agencies, task forces continue to attack vulnerable, afflicted & diseased patients who do not choose illnesses. Suicides are increasing in the pain community. Patients are losing hope not wanting to live under such dreadful circumstances. CDC press release states misapplied guidelines & not meant to affect acute or chronic pain patients already established which is great but the DEA is overstepping….artesting and imprisoning good doctors just like the ones above. Life sentences no doubt. Ruining the livelihoods & entire families. Ripping their providers away. Children left without their loving patent. The biggest part of this I do NOT get as a nurse is how can law enforcement decide how a patient should be treated instead of the patients doctor? Does the DEA have a Medical degree? Do they assess the patient? Know their history? Their diagnosis? Their labs & scan results. It’s unimaginable that they never see a patient. Know NOTHING about them but pass judgements like……..going into a doctors office stating “if you treat patients like these you will be forced to surrender your license & your clinic will be shut down. Lastly, it has come to my attention that DEA is using PDMP (private patient informstion) to track doctors & their prescribing habits. The close clinics leaving patients without care, causing them to seek out a new doctor & then they see the increase in prescribing from other doctors & boom.

      • Exactly! What I’ve been saying is that when the DEA arrests the top % of prescribing doctors in EACH STATE (some of which are UNDER the “recommended” MME guidelines), the doctors under them on the “list” will be next because there will ALWAYS be doctors who are the top prescribers – until they have successfully managed to stop ALL doctors from prescribing opioids and there is no one left! This has nothing to do with getting rid of pill mills at all!!!

  7. We may not be able to get a class action suit under the terms we’ve been trying but as a patient we should try doing it under the term of endangering my health. When a doctor is closed or raided it leaves us the patient without the medical care we need.This just came to me.

  8. This is why three-letter governmental departments like the FDA, ATF, NSA, CIA, etc., should be eliminated. Make the former employees get real jobs for a change.

  9. Regarding the witch-hunt against doctors-

    Designing a crime in retrospect
    Cannot be
    It’s a form of Tyranny”

    • ALL doctor’s (especially pain doctors) need to unite! Those who have been arrested on trumped up charges should be suing!!

    • “crime in retrospect”…excellent way to put it, Dr Ibsen. Tho I think the adjective “obscene” would go well in front. Or “monstrous.”

      And I like the haiku-like appearance.

  10. You can’t hate a substance wholesale. Even cyanide has many beneficial uses. We don’t stop using cars because some are involved in accidents and some drive poorly.

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