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Feds halt 2 Tennessee pharmacies' opioid dispensing for now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says the Justice Department has taken first-of-its-kind action to temporarily stop two Tennessee pharmacies, their owner and three pharmacists from dispensing opioids and other controlled substances.

Copies of court filings provided by U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran's office Friday say Celina, Tennessee-based Oakley Pharmacy, Inc., known as Dale Hollow Pharmacy, and Xpress Pharmacy of Clay County LLC illegally filled thousands of opioid and other prescriptions without legitimate medical purpose.

They say Thomas Weir, who owns both pharmacies, oversaw operations and pharmacists Michael Griffith, John Polston and Larry Larkin illegally filed prescriptions.

Cochran's office says a judge signed the order to keep the pharmacies and four men from dispensing controlled substances.

Cochran's office says two people have died and numerous others were hospitalized for overdoses shortly after getting drugs from the pharmacies.

Calls to the pharmacies went unanswered Friday.

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