The Pharmacist (2020) s01e02 Episode Script

A Mission from God

[train horn blowing.]
[dramatic instrumentals.]
The trial was coming up and everything hung up on my testimony.
He just looked at me and he said, "Look what I have done.
" - [Dan.]
You even seen his shirt? - [Shane.]
It had splattered blood on it.
Splattered blood on it.
Because it was cold-blooded murder.
The threats started getting more vicious I was in such a great fear.
I had four young children that I was trying to protect.
I didn't know if someone would pull up to my house and kill my children.
That was the worst fear to go through.
The worst fear.
- I turned to drugs to deal with it.
- [distant police sirens.]
During that time, I had an addiction to crack.
[pipe crackles.]
I would buy drugs off the street.
As a matter fact, that's why I was standing in front of my mom's store when I saw the murder.
I had wanted to get high.
[dramatic instrumentals.]
And I had never told Mr.
Danny about that.
But Shane, he killed our son.
You're telling us he killed our son.
[gun fires.]
Look, Mr.
Schneider, I have to go.
I was afraid for my life and my children.
Please tell what you have to say.
You're our hope.
During this time, my dad was in the hospital.
He asked me what I had decided.
- [distant police sirens.]
- And I told him I was afraid.
And he told me, "You can look back in the Bible and it says, 'God loves the truth.
' You love God, you tell the truth.
" And I told him, I said, "I don't know if I'm strong enough.
" And he said, "You're my daughter.
You're strong enough.
" God loves the truth.
And the truth is in me.
[dramatic instrumentals fade.]
[mechanical clicking and whirring.]
- [static crackles.]
- [mellow instrumentals.]
[mellow instrumentals fade.]
[slide clicks.]
[ambient instrumentals.]
Shane was in witness protection.
She hadn't testified yet.
Even though we'd worked so hard, she still can change her mind and not testify because she's got to go in front of the court, hold a hand up in front of Jeffery and Jeffery's family.
The morning of the grand jury, that was the most fearful-est day I had.
Because I knew I had to come in front of Jeffery.
I must have smoked about two packs of cigarettes.
I was coming up the steps to the courthouse.
And Jeffery's uncle was out there and he threw some threats.
I had a police escort who told me to just keep walking.
Jeffery's family was there.
The whole family.
We was all scared and tense.
'Cause we didn't know exactly whether she was gonna go through and go forth with what she said she was.
She was petrified.
I was worried that she wouldn't testify and we'd lose everything.
Jeffery's grandmother got up and she said, "So that's how you are.
That's how you are.
" [dramatic instrumentals.]
She was saying things and other people were saying things.
It was like I just didn't want to look at any of them, you know? Didn't really even wanna look at Jeffery.
It had to be very difficult for Shane, fearing for her life and her family's life, which she was putting at risk.
Finally the grand jury wanted to talk to me.
And they asked me, "Did I see the man in the room that had killed Danny Schneider, Junior?" And I pointed to him.
Oh, that was a feeling.
'Cause the look he gave me [Shane scoffs.]
If his eyes could shoot, I was dead.
When Shane pointed in my direction in court, it was like everything went to being in slow motion for me.
You know, I looked to this side.
This the D.
and the victim's family on this side.
And my family was sitting over here crying and stuff.
But I wasn't hearing nothing.
- [gas hisses.]
- [burner ignites.]
I just lost my hearing.
[high-pitched ringing.]
My mind went back to that night.
[tires crunching.]
[dramatic instrumentals continue.]
I don't feel good about it.
[engine idles.]
I was just trying to get the heat off me.
I had made up a story.
Just made up a story so they could leave me alone.
[indistinct police radio chatter.]
Being a kid, a teenager.
Thought I had it going on, thought I had everything figured out.
I was dealing drugs and it was like I just thought I was a big boy.
You know, and I made a decision.
When I fired the gun, it was a funny feeling to my hand.
There was a a sting to it.
There was a sting to it.
But I know on the other side of the gun, someone was laying there dead, possibly.
And that's what it had turned out to be.
I had put it away and it's coming back up.
I took someone's life, you know, and it's like, "Damn.
" [sighs deeply.]
- [gun shot.]
- [indistinct radio chatter.]
[gavel banging.]
[prison keys jingle.]
[cell door clanks shut.]
Once Shane accused that he was the killer, the D.
presses onto Jeffery and they try to talk Jeffery into accepting a deal.
The deal was for 15 years.
And um He took the plea.
- [indistinct chatter.]
- [chains locking.]
Stand up, facing me.
Hands in front of you.
[handcuffs locking.]
Jeffery took the plea on November 21, 2000.
[mellow instrumentals.]
It took a year-and-a-half for me to solve the case.
[clears throat.]
I caught him.
Nobody got killed.
Nobody got hurt.
Stood my ground.
Didn't get him killed.
Didn't carry a gun.
I got him the right way.
Coming up, I'd never been outside of the 9th Ward.
That was the first time I traveled from out of New Orleans, from out of the 9th Ward.
I didn't never been nowhere on the highway like that before, seeing all this stuff that I was seeing.
The trees, and just being on the road like that.
And, um, to do it on a prison bus I cried.
Yeah, I cried.
[thunder crackles.]
[thunder rumbles.]
I took that time and tried to better myself with it.
I finished school.
Put thought into how it could have been prevented, and I worked on anger management.
[indistinct inmate chatter.]
But it's still an everyday struggle for me because I ask this to myself often: "How do I continue to move forward when I know I did wrong?" Wish I could change it.
But I can't.
After Jeffery was indicted, I said, "I'm going to get out of here.
Go somewhere safe.
" And I left my childhood home.
And I never returned.
I've never returned.
But I'm I'm all right now.
I'm all right.
I cleaned my life up.
I said, "I'm so sick of this bullshit.
" I said, "I'm tired of wondering, "Where am I getting money from? When am I gonna get high?" I said I'm just tired of it.
I said "Today I become a real wife and a real mother.
" I said, "This is it.
I'm done.
" I've been clean since then.
Shane put everything on the line for our family.
Her strength inspired me.
It was a Victims and Citizens Against Crime annual awards night.
And we were able to get her an award.
And she pretty much got a standing ovation.
She's really our hero, through all of this.
I don't consider that "being a hero.
" I consider that "standing up.
" Mister Danny He really touches my heart.
I told him he should be a private investigator because he gets the job done.
[mellow instrumentals continue.]
After Jeffery was in jail, it felt like you should have closure, but, in a certain way, you didn't feel like you had closure.
It just felt like we didn't go through the grieving period.
[cassettes rattling.]
The whole year that went by, something was always happening.
So when we came home from the trial, it was the beginning of us grieving the loss of little Danny.
I tried to get back to my normal life, but it really wasn't normal.
Normal's never normal anymore.
Danny started back working yesterday.
- [friend.]
He did? - [Annie.]
- [friend.]
How'd that work for him? - [Annie.]
He went a half a day yesterday and a half a day today.
He gets off at three.
That might be better for him.
I continued working at the drugstore, but I was really only working kind of part-time, 20 or 30 hours a week.
[car rushes past.]
It was hard for me, but I tried my best to go back to work.
My boss at my drugstore We call him Mr.
told me if I had to go in the back and lay down, or pray, I was allowed to do that.
It's about one or two o'clock.
I'm at work at Bradley's Pharmacy, but I got a little break.
[sighs heavily.]
Really, really got low.
And, uh, struggled and cried a bunch, and didn't know where to turn.
I really couldn't even talk to Annie about certain things.
At times, I was talking to myself.
So rather than talk to myself, I would talk to the recorder.
God, let us have some peace.
Let us have some happiness.
It hurt.
It really Not only his loss, but the way he died.
We're trying to understand how Danny got sucked into this thing at the end.
Whether or not this was just him wanting to do this or his thinking is, "I can stop this any time I want to.
" All the while, this drug sucks you closer and closer to where you can't control it.
Danny, we love you and we miss you.
And I forgive you, son, for for what you did.
You lost your life.
And we're going through hell, but I know that you didn't want this to happen.
So, please, rest assured your daddy loves you.
I understand addiction is a powerful thing because of my son, but addiction was not spoken of in pharmacy school.
It's not something we thought we'd have to face as a pharmacist on the counter.
[dramatic instrumentals.]
After I went back to work at Bradley's, I realized how blind I had been to the addiction problem.
I started noticing a lot of kids around my son's age 18, 19, 20, 25-year-old.
Healthy people coming in with high-powered opiate prescriptions for OxyContin.
And I can remember seeing OxyContin marketing in a magazine.
A pharmacy magazine around 1997 maybe? Supposedly, it was a miracle drug for chronic pain.
And it was produced by Purdue Pharma.
If you have heard of the following pill, then you're likely a chronic pain patient or living with one: "OxyContin.
" [reporter 1.]
It's the fastest-growing drug in America.
[reporter 2.]
OxyContin is one of America's new prescription wonder drugs.
[reporter 3.]
An OxyContin pill can stop severe pain for 12 hours.
It became known as the "angel of mercy.
" [reporter 4.]
The drugs give pain patients the ability to enjoy simple pleasures.
It really turned my life around.
I've become a more active and productive person.
I just can't explain how happy I am today.
Take these medications.
I have found life again and it's worth living now.
And I'm so grateful.
OxyContin had a time-release factor that lasted 12 hours.
It supposedly made it less addictive.
But I didn't buy into that.
We have known for millennia that opioids are addictive.
And then all of a sudden, you know, packed in one single little pill, was this massive equivalent of, like, 16 Percocet.
And that was really dangerous.
When I see these kids coming in with these Oxycontin prescriptions, I felt that something wasn't right about this.
It didn't really look like they had serious, uh, pain or health problems.
I was haunted by the fact that, uh in their faces, I could sort of see my son.
I was tuned in now.
I decided to bring my recorder to work, put it in my pocket and record patients.
[pills rattling.]
You ought to make do on this Percocet.
You know what you ought to do? You oughta add Motrin.
Over-the-counter Motrin, but take two.
If that ain't relieving your pain, I'm telling you, you oughta go to the hospital.
I might happen to be at the right place at the right time to really make a difference.
And I started counseling patients about the OxyContin and discouraging these kids that were walking in my drugstore.
And I would say sometimes, "Did you have an MRI?" - And most of 'em said no.
- [pills rattle.]
"What kind of pain are you in? How severe is it?" "Well, it's really not that bad.
" [woman 1.]
Yeah, it works.
Don't get me wrong, it works.
- [Dan.]
- [woman 1.]
I feel like I'm, you know [Dan.]
Well, it works, but, you know, let me tell you what the problem is.
It works, but if you keep taking that regular, other things aren't going to work.
And then eventually that's not going to work as well.
And there ain't nothing heavier than that.
So then you're stuck.
[woman 2.]
I was a young teenager, and, you know, word on the street was it's a pill that, you know, makes you feel like you're on heroin.
It's just heroin in a pill.
[water lapping gently.]
Everyone's parents, when I was in school, had injuries.
A lot of the fathers were getting hurt at the refinery and they would have to see a doctor and be prescribed opioids.
And so, mostly everyone I knew had prescriptions at home that they can access.
When I was in high school, I got into an automobile accident.
And I got prescribed pain medicine.
I went home and I remember taking the first OxyContin and it made me feel great.
[enchanting instrumentals.]
You know, everything's clicking, you don't have the back pain anymore - [clicking.]
- and it just, all around, makes you just just happy.
It's just a euphoric rush.
The first time I tried OxyContin, it just numbed me and gave me energy.
[muffled whooshing.]
Loved the way it made me feel.
Anyone that takes an OxyContin or a drug like that is going to like how it feels.
You can't fight that feeling.
Everybody was talking about it.
I learned there was a whole new world just for this drug, as far as getting high.
It's a timed-release drug.
It's supposed to last eight to 12 hours.
But if you chewed the pill, you'd get a big dose of the medicine instantly, as opposed to a timed-release.
I would hear things like, "Well, you can break those down really easily if you get the coating off.
" "You can shoot 'em up and let the OxyContin hit you really hard.
" And once you get that feeling, that numbness, you know, I wanted to feel like that every day.
[woman 1.]
I mean, honestly, when I take OxyContin, I take half.
Don't take half.
You get a full dose immediately because they're supposed to be spread out over 12 hours.
I think some of the girls at the drugstore and some of the other pharmacists heard I was doing this.
They thought I was crazy, but I thought that maybe I could counsel and stop 'em before they got addicted.
One day, I brought in a prescription to Bradley's and, uh, Dan Schneider is behind the counter, and he greets you like he always does.
And he started asking some questions about why I'm getting this medicine.
I told him I was experiencing back pain, but I was pretty sure I was addicted to the medicine at that point.
You gotta understand, I mean, you're somebody I respect.
- [Dan.]
You know what my son died of? - [Robbie.]
It can happen to anybody.
And I'll try to help and be supportive and [hood clicks open.]
Robbie admitted that he was on the wrong track, just like my son.
And it shocked me that he was prescribed such a strong pain medication from a doctor.
He started asking some questions about the doctor that prescribed this medicine.
And I told him the doctor I was seeing had opened up her own practice not too far from here, on Chef Highway.
[dramatic instrumentals.]
When he said "Chef Menteur Highway," I knew that was not a medical district.
This was a seedy part of New Orleans, not far from St.
It's not a business epicenter for professionalism.
There's a lot of little independent motels that, you know, rent by the hour, if you get what I'm saying.
I figured maybe the rent was cheap, and she was just starting out.
It was a very small pediatric clinic.
She was a pediatrician that was going into pain management.
I remember the first time I walked in, most of the chairs were little, small chairs that kids sit in.
There was no one else in the building, uh, but her.
He said her name was Dr.
Jacqueline Cleggett.
Cleggett was very attractive, very personable, charming, very, very sweet.
And I remember distinctly, she would write three drugs.
Patients were getting the OxyContin, Soma, and they were getting Xanax, which was called the "holy trinity.
" Even though the OxyContin itself is very strong, it would just give that extra kick to make it feel more like a heroin effect.
I wasn't actually a patient of Dr.
Cleggett, but everybody that was using in the parish knew who was getting their refill on what day and you knew to go to their house.
And when they got home, they would have people waiting outside their door for them to get home with their prescription.
I think many of these kids are getting these pills and they are abusing 'em.
If I'm right, she shouldn't be giving prescriptions for this OxyContin.
At Bradley's, we had a way of running a computer printout.
The printout would show the frequency the drug was prescribed and the doctor prescribing it.
I ran a printout to find out how many OxyContin prescriptions we were filling at Bradley's.
And when I ran this thing and I looked at the paperwork on it, it was a routine.
OxyContin, OxyContin, OxyContin Dr.
Cleggett, Dr.
Cleggett, Dr.
Cleggett Ninety percent of all prescriptions were OxyContin, and 99 percent of them were Dr.
The amount of prescriptions that Dr.
Cleggett was prescribing was totally overwhelming.
I couldn't believe the magnitude.
Cleggett was putting these people straight to OxyContin, 40 milligrams.
She never started them at a reduced dosage, and then worked their way up because of their pain.
She started 'em high.
I said, "My God, look at this.
What's going on here?" [dramatic instrumentals fade.]
[mechanical clicking.]
I feared Dr.
Cleggett might be doing more harm than good.
[birds chirping.]
But when I really started questioning patients about what was going on in there, the owner of Bradley's, Mr.
Claude, started looking at it as harassment.
And all he saw was it cost him business.
Because if I ran these people away, they would, uh They'd just go to another store.
So I started investing my time in trying to convert some of 'em, which I didn't have a lot of success.
Every now and then, I made progress.
Who's that woman out there? Cleggett? [woman.]
It was giving me an upset stomach.
- [Dan.]
She didn't tell you? - [woman.]
That's dangerous medicine.
You gotta be careful how you take it.
How long you been going to Cleggett? - [man.]
About two or three years.
- [Dan.]
Two or three years? The information was right in front of me for the asking.
What are her hours? [woman 2.]
Oh, I don't know.
One time, I didn't come out until 3:30 in the morning.
How many people would you say she has at night? - I mean, 10, 20, 30? - [woman 2.]
Oh, good God, no.
- About 100.
- [Dan.]
Any of 'em on crutches? [woman 2.]
It was becoming more and more apparent in our community that if you wanted to fill a script, Bradley's was not the place to go.
That Dan was gonna call you down on it.
One day, a girl came in.
Her name was Sheri.
She was a really clean-cut looking girl, young, but she had a prescription for OxyContin from Dr.
And I asked her, I said, "You know, what kind of pain are you having?" She really couldn't give me good answers.
I kind of got on her case a little bit and discouraged her from getting the drug.
But my boss had actually filled a prescription for her.
So I was kind of stuck.
I had to give her the pills, uh, because it was like, obligated.
We had already committed.
And so, you know, I warned her and I gave her the prescription.
It was not long after that when I got a call.
[mellow instrumentals.]
I found out today that Sheri Lynn died, and although it's listed as undetermined causes, they do believe it was OxyContin-related.
I later found out she was abusing the pill.
She dissolved 'em and injected 'em.
[sighs heavily.]
I feared that the pills that I had given her were the thing that she overdosed on.
[sighs deeply.]
Now I feel like I've killed somebody.
God? Why does this have to be this hard? [Annie.]
He felt like it was his fault almost, you know, he couldn't convince them enough to stop taking it, 'cause they were addicted to it.
They actually was addicted and thinking that they could just do it, maybe one more time, just like little Danny thought.
I was crying and praying.
I go back to the cemetery.
Come to find out she was buried no more than about 20 feet from where my son was buried.
I couldn't save my son okay? I could find his killer, but I couldn't save my son.
But I can save some other kids.
And save the parents of those kids the hell that me and my wife had to go through.
I'm not going to let this doctor and this drug continue to kill.
[dramatic instrumentals.]
Just like in my son's case, I gotta learn everything about this.
Call it driven, call it obsession.
I had to know everything about Dr.
And so I asked my wife, I said, "Look, let's go see Dr.
Cleggett's office tonight.
" I said, "Dan, are you crazy? There's no way that she's open this time of the night.
" [Dan.]
That white sign in the back is her office.
We're passing by her office right now.
Now, we're going to go around the block.
Turn it off yet? [Dan.]
Pause it.
Annie was a trooper.
She was in the car with me, scared to death.
More scared than I was.
You're gonna be going through my window eventually.
I know, you just watch where you're going.
This person's looking out the door, Danny! - [Dan.]
It's all right! - [Annie.]
Put it down? [Dan.]
No, keep shooting.
I got the camera and he's behind the wheel and every car that passed, I was looking to see who was it.
We pulled up, found us a position across the street, trying to be not detected.
And we looked and we observed.
And unbelievably, her office was abuzz.
- [cars passing.]
- My wife said, "Oh, my God, look at this.
" [Annie.]
I said, "I can't believe it.
These people are all in line to get OxyContin?" He said, "Yeah, can you believe what's going on?" [Dan.]
We actually saw a gentleman walk in with crutches, and shortly after, he walks out holding those crutches in his hand.
It's about almost two o'clock in the morning.
January 11th.
What I'm trying to gather is evidence to help support a case against her.
My wife and I were videotaping this and then we actually noticed, in front of the building, New Orleans police officers.
I had so much problems with police in my son's case being obstructionists.
And then I'll be darned.
You know, I, I started investigating Cleggett and she has a uniformed New Orleans police officer on the doggone porch.
In my mind, they had to be complicit with what she was doing.
But it was so obvious to me that this was dirty business.
And I said to myself, if nobody else was going to stop this, I was going to stop this.
A lot of trash out front.
I was actually interested in looking in the trash, but, uh I'll save that maybe for another time if necessary.
I had to go to the next level.
I had to get somebody on the inside.
And I called Robbie up and said, "Robbie, what do you know about this doctor?" [ringback tone.]
- [Dan.]
Robbie? - [Robbie.]
Can we still meet? I'd like to.
I get a call from Dan Schneider.
We got a little Shoney's down here in St.
He wants to meet me at Shoney's.
I'll take, uh, liver and onions.
You want gravy on your potatoes? [Dan.]
- [waitress.]
You want anything? - [Robbie.]
No, I'm fine.
We're in Shoney's and he started asking some questions about Dr.
Cleggett, how she runs her business, who's there? Uh, what are the patients like? [Dan.]
You could be a big help to me.
You can inform me a little bit.
I was going to tell you the whole story all the way through.
And we went through the whole detailed thing of Cleggett's operation.
Her business was picking up.
[ambient instrumentals.]
She moved next door to this two-story building that, you know, was huge.
And she got more and more patients and the crowd changed.
This was people that were either addicted to the medicine completely or people who were selling their medicine.
Your visit was $250.
Then you had a stat fee of $100 on top of that.
And if you paid for the stat visit, you were supposedly guaranteed to be seen within an hour or two, but the longest I waited was about 12 hours.
[faint ticking.]
But I had a friend who actually was in there two days.
Two whole days in her office.
You had people in the waiting room sick, or dope sick, as I learned now, sweating profusely, being antsy.
You know, they needed their medicine.
It was very common for people to fill their prescription and come back to the doctor's office and sell the pills that they just got to people who still had a day's wait.
- [sirens whooping.]
- And you got an NOPD uniformed officer standing next to you.
It was just crazy.
You know, they would sell each individual pill, 30, 50 to 80 bucks.
And an OxyContin back then 80 bucks for an 80 milligram Oxy.
So these people would have enough to pay their rent, buy groceries and have money for the entire month and have a few left over to take for themselves.
From an enforcement standpoint, it made things a lot tougher.
If you found somebody holding crack or heroin, or cocaine or meth, you made a case on 'em.
But if you found somebody holding 100 pills and they had scripts for 'em, even though you know the intent might be to distribute, you couldn't make a case on 'em.
You could have a trunk load of it.
As long as you had the paper to back it up, it was okay.
And most of the scripts were coming back to that pain clinic in New Orleans East to Cleggett.
It seemed like Dr.
Cleggett had created a cottage industry.
She seemed to be a wholesaler and that people were buying this drug from her and actually dealing it on the street.
[cars rushing past.]
And at that point, we made a pact to try to curtail or stop her operation.
That's when I told him about trying to pay with the prescription.
Did she actually try to pay you in prescriptions? [Robbie.]
Yeah! Okay? You see I repaired her, uh her printer.
[mechanical clicking.]
You know, at the time I was working for a company that repaired printers and that.
One day, I go into work and the first service call is her address on Chef Highway.
- [clicking.]
- So I go out there to do the service call and, "Oh, hi, Robbie," da-da-da.
I told the receptionist, "A $300-$400 repair," or whatever it was.
Well, she comes walking out with a prescription for Oxycontin for me.
And I said, "Somebody's gonna be looking for 400-something dollars when I get back to the office.
" So she takes the prescription, goes back in the back and the uniformed NOPD officer comes out with the prescriptions in his hand, hands them to me, and basically tells me it would be in my best interest to take the prescriptions and leave.
So, I took prescriptions and left.
If that's not freaking illegal, I don't know what is.
- [Dan sighs.]
- [ringback tone.]
This is Dan Schneider.
I'm a pharmacist, and I've been observing this physician, Jacqueline Cleggett.
In my medical opinion, she's overprescribing strong narcotics.
And I tell 'em that I got a young man that has an incredible story about a doctor writing prescriptions to pay him for his services in front of New Orleans police officers there.
I discussed the fact that we had videotapes and audiotapes.
And a couple days later, I got a call back by David Steed, the agent in charge.
He said, "Well, Dan, I looked into this.
I reviewed your materials, but the DEA is way ahead of us on this.
I want you to arrange a meeting with the DEA.
" [automated beep.]
This is, uh January, I think it's a Friday.
I talked to David Steed, an FBI agent, this evening.
He seemed very interested and I think we're making some progress.
Today was a good day.
And I feel like Danny was present with me and so was God.
[phone line clicks.]
We got to the DEA office.
We were referred to two agents.
They separate us.
They put us in these little rooms.
"We have to have y'all separate.
We absolutely have to have y'all separate.
" I, I didn't quite understand that, but that's protocol, I guess.
[droning instrumentals.]
We tell them the story and all that, but they weren't interested in what we were saying about Jacqueline Cleggett.
They couldn't figure out why we came up there.
"Nobody just comes there and tries to do the right thing," that was their perspective.
They picked on Robbie.
They really, really press him about street dealers.
Okay, and you know, "Do any of your friends do drugs? Do any of your friends sell drugs?" [Robbie.]
I knew some people that were selling OxyContin on the street and whatnot, but they were little fish in the pond.
I mean, we're trying to give 'em this doctor who's running this shady practice where if they shut her down, then the low-level dealers don't have the medicine to sell.
They didn't seem to be interested in in his prescription story or even in going after Dr.
I said, "My God.
What the hell are you guys doing?" [dramatic instrumentals.]
I met Mr.
Schneider, um a short time after I went to work for DEA.
Schneider was, I think, very frustrated, but what you have to understand is that DEA doesn't tell John Q.
Citizen, or even a pharmacist or another doctor what they're investigating.
So even though Mr.
Schneider thought things were not happening, things were happening.
We had been investigating Dr.
Cleggett a year before Dan came on the scene.
I initiated the DEA case in February of 2000.
We had a pole-cam placed in front of her business.
I observed license plates from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, even as far as Tennessee.
Patients would camp out or sleep in their cars to wait for Dr.
Cleggett would generally show up at about eleven o'clock at night.
She would see an average of 76 patients a day.
I mean, there's something seriously wrong with that.
You know, on a really busy day, I may see 20 patients, and that's an intense day.
How could you possibly properly examine a patient, talk with their family, check labs? There's no way.
Eventually, we sent an undercover agent in to become a patient.
There was no exams.
No, "Does this cause your pain? Does that cause your pain?" She'd just give you your prescription.
We did undercover buys.
Almost all of the prescriptions were identical, no matter what patient went in.
OxyContin, Soma, and Xanax, which is commonly known as the "holy trinity.
" Patients were exchanging prescriptions, exchanging pills.
Every one of her patients paid in cash.
She didn't take insurance.
She wouldn't take checks.
She didn't take credit cards.
You paid your money, and eventually, you got your prescription.
In 2001, our records show that Dr.
Cleggett deposited almost two million dollars in cash.
So, that was a red flag.
The only thing that could possibly be happening there, as far as I can determine, is that that's just a pill mill.
A pill mill is a way to describe doctors who have clearly lost their moral compass, who are willfully exchanging prescriptions for cash, and not really doing any kind of due diligence.
You know, they don't care about the patients.
They're just in it for the money.
It was just like, this mind-boggling scenario of a doctor's office.
Dan Schneider was a few blocks away sitting in his car with an amateur camera conducting his own investigation.
What Dan didn't realize or understand was that we had our own investigation going on.
And we just couldn't tell him at that point.
I heard they had a case, but it really seemed like the DEA didn't care about anything I was saying.
I think the Drug Enforcement Administration got more and more concerned about too many cooks being in the kitchen in the Cleggett parking lot.
[indistinct chatter.]
I couldn't look the other way.
[ringback tone.]
- [David.]
- [Dan.]
Yeah, David? - This is Dan Schneider.
How are you doing? - Hey, good.
How are you doing? [Dan.]
I did go meet with the DEA.
I actually brought a subject with me.
I'll call him as "Mr.
R," because so far he hasn't given up his entire name.
He gave them a lot of information.
You supposedly gave this to them because they already had - an ongoing investigation.
- [David.]
That is correct.
That is not what I was led to believe.
It didn't seem like they had a clue what was going on.
Unless they were being discreetly dishonest to me, which is possible.
- Okay? - [David.]
And I hope they were.
But I'm double-checking them.
Schneider, all I can tell you is that this case is getting the attention that it needs at the level that it needs.
I would really, at this point, stop the investigation that you were actually conducting.
Just sit back and watch things from the periphery and watch things unfold over the next weeks, months, however long this case is going to take.
Well, I'll tell you what, - if it does take months - Uh-huh.
there will be hundreds of lives destroyed.
Overdoses in St.
Bernard started to be very, very common.
[mellow instrumentals.]
Opioids can slow the heart.
- They can slow the breathing.
- [gears rattle.]
And eventually, patients get to a point where they take their opioid, they fall asleep, their heart stops.
- And they essentially just stop breathing.
- [gears stop.]
So they become more and more vulnerable to dying even when they're taking the medicine as prescribed.
One night, I actually left a rehabilitation center in the city.
I caught a bus.
I got, you know, opiates on the way home.
Haven't used in a while so my tolerance was low.
And I remember using and when I laid down, I went into the blackest hole.
- [water trickling.]
- You know, you hear people talk about when they overdose, or when they die and come back, that they see a light.
I didn't see any of that.
It was like I never existed.
- [machinery beeping.]
- Next thing I know, I wake up strapped down to a bed with a tube down my throat.
[machinery hissing and beeping.]
And I saw a police officer just standing over me and I was screaming to help me breathe.
And I remember the nurse peeking in and saying, "You overdosed and I need you to relax.
We're trying to save your life.
" And I remember that cop.
I was begging to breathe and I said, "Help, I can't breathe.
Please, help me.
" And I remember looking up and I remember him doing this: And walking off.
[rhythmic beeping.]
I was in ICU for three weeks on a breathing machine.
Excuse me.
[beeping intensifies.]
[machines clicking and hissing.]
I was about 17.
Maybe I was 18, but no older.
I continued using after that.
It wasn't enough to stop me.
The addiction was just too strong.
[beeping fades.]
I started to see more deaths related to OxyContin.
And I felt the DEA and FBI were moving much too slow to shut her down.
And if I could do anything to make it happen faster, I had to try to do that.
Danny started talking about Dr.
Cleggett more and more.
Every conversation at the dinner table led back to these kids dying, but I would try to block it out.
Kristi, repeat exactly what you just said.
- No, I don't really feel like it.
- Well, I will say what you just said.
She just said we're not having a great day.
All because there was some little, minor comment that she didn't like.
I'd say, "Danny, I don't know if I can take any more of this.
I really don't.
" I know it's all for a good cause, but it's hard to stop Danny talking about something he's got in his mind.
I'm gonna try to do a lot of things to prevent people I gotta change your attitude.
You gotta fear for your friends.
Danny, shut up.
- [Dan.]
Well, I will, but I mean - [Annie.]
Another place, another time.
Another place, another time.
Kristi and Annie was trying to get Danny to slow down.
They needed a break.
At one point, when things got tough, I went over to the Schneiders' house and I remember Annie telling me, "He's got to stop this.
He's obsessed.
" Danny was in the bathroom washing his face, you know.
And I heard Danny crying.
You know.
"Help me.
Help me, God.
Help me.
" It had been a couple years since Danny passed away.
But that hurt is there.
And my heart went out to Danny.
It was one of the saddest things I've heard in my life.
I want to be inspired.
I think it's important.
I want to do something for my son and myself.
I want a calling and I believe I may have a special calling, because I also, God, have given my only son.
Okay? And I want to give him purpose [clears throat.]
on Earth, as it is in heaven.
He, like, became a martyr, or I don't know if that's the right word, but, uh he may save some of these other kids' lives.
And again, maybe that's my mission.
I've looked for direction for a long time.
And now I’m motivated.
I was driven.
Other people would say "obsessed.
" I like "driven.
" [chuckles.]
I had no idea how tough it was going to be.
You know, I almost gotta be a damn policeman.
And I shouldn't have this job.
And some people say, "Why don't you just drop it?" But, uh, it means more than that to me.
[automated voice.]
You have reached the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Informant Hotline.
If y'all's investigator wanted to call the New Orleans branch of the FBI to know what they know about this woman, I don't know if they're really exploring the IRS part of it yet.
I was sort of like a maniac.
I didn't sleep for days.
I was 24 hours.
[spirited instrumentals.]
I've been working on a way to get her.
And the way to get her was how they got Al Capone.
Tax evasion! [ringback tone.]
- [agent 2.]
- This is Dan Schneider.
How you doing? Hi, Dan.
We're not being recorded again, are we? [Dan.]
Now, I do want to give you some tips, though.
[ringback tone.]
I know Mr.
Schneider means well, but he had questions all the time.
"Why aren't you doing this? Why aren't you doing that?" Sometimes you'd get on the phone with him and you'd be on the phone with him for an hour and you'd just kind of go, "Mr.
Schneider, I have an appointment," or you know, "I'll see what I can find out.
" And that's really all you can say.
I called the DEA up again.
Didn't give up on 'em.
- [receiver clicks.]
- [dial tone.]
[automated voice.]
At the tone, record your message.
[phone beeps.]
This is Dan Schneider.
I'm not a goofball.
I'm not a nut.
I'm not trying to control your investigation.
I'm trying to help.
I've got some addition information for the license plate number of JCS5 She has a policeman that's, that's in her office most of the time.
"Oh, no, no.
We wouldn't handle that.
You got to go back to the FBI.
" So, you know, I get bounced away from one into the other.
I can tell you that the DEA acted as though they're not going to work that.
That's not their business.
If nobody's working the other side, we are in trouble.
Things were just escalating.
It was getting over our heads with everything that was going on.
Your life revolves around just this! That's all you ever talk about.
Do you know what's funny? I'm talking quite softly right now.
- But y'all seem to be yelling.
- [Kristi.]
You must be recording now because all of a sudden you got real smooth.
Danny's brothers would talk to him and say, "You know, Danny, you gotta stop.
This isn't good for you and your family.
" [Annie.]
It's your problem.
- [Dan.]
It's not my problem.
- [Annie.]
Yes, it is.
Did you want your son's case solved? [Annie.]
That has nothing to do with right now.
Yes, it does.
If I would not act the way I act, this case would never have been solved.
Now she almost just hit me.
Yeah, I almost punched him.
I almost punched him in the face just now, everybody on the tape recorder.
Having fortified himself with his son's investigation and incurring the risk he'd already incurred, this probably seemed like minor league activity out on the Chef Highway to him.
This was like no harm, no foul.
Heading back to Jacqueline Cleggett's office right now.
We want to find out if she's operating this afternoon.
But if you've got some guy that's going to interfere with you being able to fill a prescription, you can bet that any one of those characters in that parking lot that are traveling 200 miles to get a prescription would've clipped Dan and not thought anything of it.
[ominous instrumentals.]
I was going out there almost every week, filming hard.
Cleggett had bodyguards that started noticing that I was videotaping.
And one time when I was out there, they detected me.
I started running away.
I'm maybe being tailed.
I'm not exactly sure yet.
I'm 99% sureit's Cleggett's goons.
And this 4-runner starts chasing me.
[engine revs.]
I really get concerned.
I'm, I'm having to speed.
[tires screeching.]
I finally make it to the FBI headquarters.
[receiver clicks.]
FBI New Orleans.
I'm I'm in the parking lot right near your front door but I'm sitting in my car and I'm not getting out until I know who's meeting me there.
I am being followed.
- Okay? - [agent.]
This 4-runner now starts circling and I think they're waving a gun at me.
So I, I hate to say it, but I was shitting bricks.
And I'm saying, "Man, damn.
I don't I don't believe this.
Maybe Maybe I dreamed this up.
" You know? Uh You know, so I'm not trusting myself at this point in time.
- [agent 2 .]
Adam's office.
- Yeah, this is again, Mr.
I'm still sitting here.
[agent 2.]
Um [Dan.]
All right, I see someone walking out now.
- He's in a black - [agent 2.]
Okay, I just I don't know, um how people are dressed today.
I go into the lobby of the FBI headquarters.
[suspenseful instrumentals.]
And when I get up there they start saying, "What's the What's the matter, Mr.
Schneider?" Okay.
I'm losing it.
[Dan on tape.]
You have a person here that's almost creating a scene.
[agent 3.]
Sir, I'm going to ask you to leave the premises.
Sir, I don't think you have the right to do that.
- [agent 3.]
Yes, I do.
- Okay, well, where do I go for safety? [agent 3.]
I don't care where you go, but you can't stay here.
On the way home, I get chased again.
[engine revs.]
If you see anything suspicious while you pull up, okay? - You got to call 911, okay? - [Annie.]
All right.
He told me to leave work, that, "Somebody might be following me to work.
" [Dan.]
You take care of Kristi, and you take care of your mama.
- Okay? All right? - [Annie.]
He sounded crazy.
He sounded like a crazy person.
I hope I'm overreacting.
I hope I'm paranoid.
Okay? I called the sheriff.
I know you think this is a game, but trust me, it's not a game.
I believe something's going on.
Um, can anyone else meet you there? [Dan.]
I may be followed.
[engine revs.]
Okay? [officer.]
I'll have, uh, someone from the substation - meet you at the line.
- [Dan.]
Assuming I can make it there.
- [officer.]
Okay, well - [Dan.]
I believe this Lincoln can make it.
[continued revving.]
Help me, God, and hopefully anybody else who hears this because I'm losing it.
[recorder crackles.]
[suspenseful instrumentals fade.]
[mellow instrumentals.]

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