Up to 20 doctors face criminal charges as part of the investigation surrounding the death of Michael Jackson.
By Ben Leach
Published: 9:01AM BST 30 Jul 2009
The investigation has become the biggest into celebrity drug addiction in the history of the Los Angeles police, according to senior officers.
It comes as detectives searched the Las Vegas home and office of his doctor, Conrad Murray. Detectives are reportedly also chasing other doctors who they say handed out drugs or prescriptions to the late singer.
It has emerged Jackson was given a powerful, surgical anaesthetic called properol through a drip-feed to help him sleep. Authorities believe this was the ultimate cause of the singer’s death on June 25.
One homicide officer told the Daily Star: “It’s long been suspected that friendly doctors have been enabling celebrities in Hollywood to feed their habits.
“However, the real extent of what’s been going on is truly shocking. We are uncovering a massive trade in fraudulent prescriptions.”
Dr Murray, 56, a cardiologist with practices in Las Vegas and Houston, had his Texas office and a storage unit searched last week by Drug Enforcement Agency agents.
Documents to secure the warrants used in the raids had to be made out in the 19 names and aliases used by Jackson to obtain prescription drugs.
Prince Jackson, the singer’s 12-year-old son, was even listed as one possible alias, according to reports. It is illegal in the US to obtain prescription drugs using false names.
Officers in Las Vegas carried out a similar search at his home and office there on Tuesday. Court records show the agents were investigating a possible case of manslaughter.
Police say Dr Murray is co-operating and have not labelled him a suspect. Ed Chernoff, Dr Murray’s lawyer, said: “Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long-delayed toxicology results.”