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15 in prescription drug smuggling operation are arrested, officials say

Fifteen people have been arrested in a large-scale operation to smuggle prescription drugs from Southern California to Tijuana for sale and then bring the profits to the U.S. to fund other criminal activities, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Friday.

The operation involved taking wholesale quantities of prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and hydrocodone to Tijuana. The drugs were acquired from pharmacies in San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties through fraud and other schemes, Harris said.

In San Diego, the operation brought $400,000 from Mexico over six months. The leader of the organization, identified as Anthony Wright, boasted that he was making $1,000 a day for several years, officials said.

Wright got large quantities of drugs from Dabney's Pharmacy in South Los Angeles, Harris said. The pharmacy has failed to report sales of the drugs since late 2009.

The charges against the 15 come from both federal and state indictments issued in Los Angeles and San Diego.

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