DEA agents raid Watauga Recovery Centers in TN, VA, and NC

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Federal agents raided a Tri-Cities region addiction treatment organization Wednesday.

A spokesman with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration said agents issued a Federal Search Warrant at the Watauga Recovery Centers clinic in Johnson City.

DEA Agent Jim Scott said search warrants were issued at multiple Watauga Recovery Center locations.   News Channel 11 learned 9 clinics were searched Wednesday in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina.    The centers were closed after the raid but plan to re-open Thursday according to Dr. Tom Reach, clinic founder and president.

Watauga Recovery Center treats around 2500 patients.

Dr. Reach said they’ve done nothing wrong, and this raid sends the wrong message in the opioid crisis time that the country is in.

He said the agents also raised his home, they were looking for medical and financial records throughout the day.

“We have nothing to hide, we have never done anything remotely illegal, immoral, unethical, and we stand behind our practice. And we know we will be completely exonerated in this issue,” Dr. Reach said.

Agents were also looking for records of controlled substances, Dr. Reach said.

“Watauga Recovery Center has never had controlled substances in the facilities. We don’t sell, we don’t dispense,” Dr. Reach said.

Agents also confiscated cell phones and took hard drives from computers, which he said could keep them from seeing patients.

“My real concern is for the patients, if they’re unable to get care, the chances of them going back out and using street drugs, and using heroin and fentanyl, they could die from this,” Dr. Reach said.

No one from the practice was arrested or charged with a crime, Dr. Reach said.

We’re told the nine clinics that closed Wednesday will re-open Thursday.

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