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California attorney general is aiding the investigation into Michael Jackson's death

July 2, 2009 |  5:02 pm

California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown today told The Times that his office is helping the Los Angeles Police Department in its investigation of Michael Jackson's death.

The announcement comes a day after the Drug Enforcement Administration began helping Los Angeles authorities with the probe, which is focused in part on the prescription drugs found at the pop star's home.

Brown said state law enforcement officials are using the CURES (Controlled substance, Utilization Review and Evaluation System) to mine for data on prescription drugs that will be passed on to investigators with the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.

The system contains the name of every doctor that prescribes controlled medicine, the person for whom the drug is prescribed, the quantity and the date, Brown said.

It was used to gather evidence in the recent probe of doctors in the Anna Nicole Smith case. Brown noted that the database had limitations and needs to be upgraded because of restrictions on cross-referencing data.

“We  are using it to probe for relevant information in the Jackson case,” Brown said. “If it’s about doctors, drugs and patients or anything that touches that, it’s in our database. We’ve been in touch with the LAPD and I’ve talked to Chief [William J.] Bratton.”

Brown noted that the LAPD is doing the investigation and that its findings would be turned over to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Authorities removed prescription medications and two bags of "medical evidence" from the Holmby Hills home where the pop star was found dead June 25. Law enforcement sources told The Times that investigators also are interviewing doctors who treated Jackson and prescribed him medication.

It remains unknown whether prescription drugs played a role in Jackson's death. An autopsy performed Friday did not determine a cause of death, and the county coroner's office is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

In March, Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend and two of her doctors were charged with repeatedly supplying the former Playboy centerfold with addictive prescription drugs since 2004, nearly three years before she died of an overdose, authorities said.

The offices of the California attorney general and the Los Angeles County district attorney spearheaded the investigation of Smith's boyfriend and attorney, Howard Kevin Stern, 40, and doctors Sandeep Kapoor, 40, and Khristine Eroshevich, 61, who have been charged with conspiring to "commit the crimes of prescribing, administering and dispensing controlled substances to an addict" and "unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance."

—Andrew Blankstein