One week after state and federal authorities swarmed a busy Oneida physician’s office, insight on the nature of the raid remained scarce, as federal offices offered few details about the operation.
Coffey Family Medical Clinic, and possibly Life Choices Wellness Clinic, are apparently connected to a probe into opioid overdose deaths in southeastern Kentucky. However, the exact connection between the local medical offices and that investigation by federal authorities in Kentucky remains unclear.
Early Tuesday, June 12, scores of agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration out of London, Ky., and Operation UNITE, along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol, swarmed the busy medical clinic in south Oneida, along with the wellness clinic just off Main Street.
The Independent Herald was unable to verify whether any other businesses were part of the raid.
Agents were on scene only a short time at the wellness clinic, where Drs. Brandon Coffey and Alex Coffey maintain a practice, and the clinic appeared to be open for business later Tuesday afternoon.
Coffey Family Medical Clinic, the practice of Dr. Bruce Coffey, remained closed for the remainder of the day, however, with a large law enforcement presence on scene. While the clinic would reopen on Wednesday, June 13, the previous afternoon saw TBI set up a mobile command unit in the clinic’s parking lot, and state and federal agents were later seen carrying boxes of documents from the building.
The federal investigation has apparently been ongoing for more than a year. The raids came after the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Kentucky’s Eastern District issued search warrants related to the investigation.
Contrary to rampant rumors that spread through the community on Tuesday, no one was taken into custody as a part of that raid, and no charges have been filed.
However, Dr. Bruce Coffey, who has practiced medicine in Scott County since 1976, did not return to work when the clinic reopened Wednesday, and still had not returned as of Monday. Sources said the short-handed medical team was forced to turn away some patients.
As the investigation continues, the Independent Herald has sought comment from DEA media spokespersons, to no avail.
Operation UNITE is not a law enforcement agency per se. Instead, it is a non-profit organization formed in 2003 by Congressman Hal Rogers to combat substance abuse in eastern Kentucky. According to the organization’s website, it conducts investigations into opioid abuse.