Police in Fairfax County are cracking down on stores alleged to sell illegal prescription drugs. On Friday, police served search warrants on more than a dozen businesses in Alexandria, Falls Church, Springfield and Merrified that are suspected of unauthorized selling of prescription drugs.
Authorities seized thousands of doses of painkillers, birth control pills, antibiotics and other drugs. Police said most were manufactured outside the U.S.
Police increased their efforts after a woman came forward when she became violently ill and been hospitalized after taking the drugs a few months ago.
"Some of the people who came forward asking for help from us were very hesitant to do so. They were non-English speaking immigrants who came from countries where they'd had negative experiences with law enforcement, so it was a tough thing for them to do," said John Piper, Commander of the Criminal Intelligence Division. "Most likely, there are many others who've become ill from these smuggled drugs that we will never know about."
Police said the sting was based on a six-month investigation. At one location, an unsuspecting shopper was surprised to hear of the allegations.
"We don't realize what's going on, we come in to shop for groceries. It's not in the back of your head people are doing that, it's really sad," said Isabel Silvestre.
Search warrants were served Friday at the following locations:
Kings Corner 6138 N. Kings Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22303 La Despensa 7500 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306 Rico Supermarket 7849 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306 Margarita's Grocery 8512 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309 El Compadre II 8723 Cooper Road, Alexandria, VA 22309 La Placita 2929 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042 San Miguel 5900 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041 Culmore Super Market 6019 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041 99 Depot Plus 6229 Little River Tnpk, Alexandria, VA 22312 Mi Tierra Mercado 6531-F Little River Tnpk, Alexandria, VA 22312 Bestway 3019 Graham Road, Falls Church, VA 22042 Desi Bazar 6127 Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22150 Mercado La Colonia 6971 Hechinger Drive, Springfield, VA 22151