COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A raid in Tabor City targeting a doctor’s office and home.
Columbus County District Attorney Jon David said it’s all an effort to combat the opioid epidemic.
A collective effort by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Tabor City Police Department as they raided Dr. Jong Whan Kim’s office this morning.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Unit arrested two individuals after an approximately seven month-long investigation into a “pill mill” operating at 211 East 5th Street in Tabor City. Dr. Jong Whan Kim along with his office manager and girlfriend, Tammy Lynn Thompson, were arrested today, June 29th. This investigation originated from numerous citizen complaints and anonymous tips.
“There will be consequences for anyone that is selling pills for profit over the value of human life,” said District Attorney Jon David at a Friday joint news conference in Whiteville with Sheriff Lewis Hatcher.
The office, as well as a home on Stake Road in Tabor City were targeted by SWAT and sheriff’s deputies.
During the investigation, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Detectives utilized an undercover agent to purchase ounces of marijuana from Tammy Lynn Thompson, on numerous occasions. The undercover agent also purchased 115 hydrocodone tablets from Thompson.
Dr. Kim’s office was located less than 1000 feet from Tabor City Elementary School. The office lacked the normal examination equipment that you usually see in a physician’s office. The exam rooms did not have examination tables only a chair for the patient to sit in.
“There was no diplomas on the wall, there was not medical equipment that you would associate with a doctor’s office,” said David.
The patient would then have the prescription filled at an area pharmacy according to the Sheriff’s Office. The office had numerous waiting rooms and they were all full when Detectives executed the search warrant.
“Given the amount of pills that this group was putting out onto our streets, that the supply will be dramatically limited from this day moving forward,” David said.
The two face now more than 45 charges many added on to one another by the District Attorney’s office. They range from conspiring to traffic opium/heroin, to selling a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school, trafficking opium/heroin, and unlawful prescribing of a medication without legitimate medical purpose.
Kim is under a $5.58 million bond and Thompson’s is set at $760,000.