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Owners of Tempe medical clinic arrested for running pill mill

Dr. Jelina Ip, left, and Alane Ip (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – The owners of a medical clinic in Tempe were arrested for running a pill mill, authorities said Friday.

Dr. Jelina Ip and her mother, Alane Ip, owners of the White Cranes Medical Center, were arrested for abusing prescription privileges after warrants were executed Thursday, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“They were pushing out significant quantities of prescriptions for both oxycodone and morphine,” Doug Coleman, head of Arizona DEA operations, told KTAR 92.3 FM on Friday.

Investigators found that the clinic issued prescriptions for more than 1.6 million doses, including 1.4 million for opioids, over an 18-month period.

The investigation began in October 2017. A search warrant served in June 2018 revealed that the Ips were living at the clinic near Price and Broadway roads.

“They were not seeing the patients and not running the appropriate tests before they were prescribing the opioid products for the patients, and then word of mouth got out amongst the addicted community … and a lot of people were showing up there,” Coleman said.

The DEA suspended Dr. Ip’s ability to prescribe controlled substances after an initial investigation.

The clinic has since changed its name to Ava Pain Management.

The Ips face a variety of charges, including fraud schemes, illegally conducting an enterprise, illegal administration of a narcotic, and illegal administration of a dangerous drug.

The DEA’s Phoenix office partnered with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office on the investigation and received support from the Arizona Department of Public Safety in making the arrests.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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