Ionia County pharmacy under DEA investigation

Walker Pharmacy, Lake Odessa
Walker Pharmacy in Lake Odessa. (Aug. 24, 2017)

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (WOOD) — The only pharmacy in Lake Odessa is under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A spokesperson for the DEA office in Detroit confirmed agents were at Walker Pharmacy Wednesday to execute a search warrant, but citing an ongoing investigation wouldn’t say what prompted the raid or what it yielded.

The pharmacy sits on 4th Avenue, the main drag through the small village in southern Ionia County, directly across the street from the local police department. Lake Odessa Village Manager and Police Chief Mark Bender said was notified of the search but didn’t have any details because his department wasn’t involved.

Bender said about half a dozen federal agents carried boxes and tubs out of the pharmacy.

The store was closed as the search was conducted, but was back open Thursday. An employee there said the owner, Bill Walker, wasn’t available to speak with 24 Hour News 8.

The worker, who met the 24 Hour News 8 crew at the door, said she didn’t know much about what was going on.

“We are aware they’re under investigation. We don’t know a lot working here. We just know we are open. We’re just trying maintain patients’ health, keep their prescriptions going and we are cooperating as best as we can,” she said.

No one answered the door at Walker’s house.

Some Lake Odessa community members were annoyed that 24 Hour News 8 was looking into the case.

“I’m frustrated to think that you guys would come here,” one pharmacy customer said, “in such a little dinky town where we all get together.”

Walker Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in a 15-mile radius.

“It’s very important. It’s very important ’cause it’s the only drug store we got here,” said Rolando Varela, who said his family has gotten medicine from the pharmacy for years.

The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post and the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office said they weren’t involved in the search, either.