Police: Dearborn doctor overprescribing opioids at 'pill mill' clinic on Warren Avenue

Arrests made during raid at Dearborn Medical Clinic

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ® , Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

DEARBORN, Mich. - Michigan State Police raided the Dearborn Medical Clinic about 8 a.m. Thursday while simultaneously raiding a doctor's house in West Bloomfield. 

State police said this is a prescription opioid problem on steroids in which oxycodone is the drug of choice. The doctor is accused of overprescribing the drugs at the clinic located on Warren Avenue just east of Greenfield Road.  

Lt. Mike Shaw said the clinic was attracting patients from all over at all hours of the day and night. He said it was becoming disruptive to the neighborhood. 

"People lined up here at the three in the morning," said Shaw. "And you've got nothing but people lined up around this neighborhood sitting in chairs. They actually ordered food in, to come to this place. When we actually hit the door there were people out here smoking marijuana right in the doorway, right as our officers hit the place."

Police call Dearborn clinic 'pill mill'

Police are calling it a "pill mill." The doctor allegedly prescribed more than 500,000 opioid pills since January. Investigators said roughly half of the pills ended up on the street. The pills were prescribed at the clinic and picked up elsewhere. 

RELATED: Help us investigate opioid abuse. Share how opioid addiction has affected you

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad summed up his view of the problem the clinic presented: 

"The doctor certainly was abusive in what he was doing here," said Haddad. 

According to the sign on the building, Dr. Mohammad Derani runs a general practice and family medicine clinic at the location. The building is at the corner of Warren and Yinger avenues. 

LARA suspends doctor's license

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended Derani's license to practice as a medical doctor.

LARA filed an administrative complaint alleging commonly abused and diverted controlled substances, including alprazolam, carisoprodol, hydrocodone combination drugs and codeine/promethazine syrup.

Prescription data revealed Derani ranked among the most prolific prescribers of controlled substances in Michigan in 2015 and 2016, according to LARA. On average, Derani wrote more than 43 controlled substance prescriptions for every workday between January of 2015 and August of 2017.

Patient describes raid

Veteran Brian Holt was inside the clinic Thursday morning when the police raided the place. 

"I was just sitting there waiting to be seen and all of the sudden a bunch of cops came in the building and asked everybody to stay seated, and they took the doctor out in handcuffs, and started taking everybody out in zip ties who was inside the office," said Holt. 

Holt was questioned and released. He said he is a cancer patient and originally was prescribed painkillers by Veteran Affairs. That's where he said he is headed now that his doctor has been arrested. 

The doctor's office manager also was arrested. They are scheduled to appear in court for arraignments Friday morning. 

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