Drug agents raid Jackson doctor's office

Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:53pm EDT
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By Chris Baltimore

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. drug enforcement agents and Los Angeles police on Wednesday raided a Houston clinic owned by Conrad Murray, the doctor who was with pop icon Michael Jackson when he died, looking for evidence of manslaughter.

Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration entered the Armstrong Medical Clinic in north Houston to serve a search warrant in an effort to help Los Angeles police probing the death of the singer, said Rusty Payne, a Washington-based spokesperson for the agency.

The Los Angeles Police Department's homicide division was involved in the search, and the warrant authorized them to "search for and seize items, including documents, they believed constituted evidence of the offense of manslaughter," said Ed Chernoff, Murray's lawyer.

A Los Angeles police spokeswoman confirmed that their detectives served the warrant with the assistance of the DEA, but declined to say what investigators were looking for.

One law enforcement official, who declined to be named, said the focus of the search was propofol, an anesthetic also known as Diprivan, which has repeatedly been named in media reports as a drug Jackson was said to be taking before he died on June 25.

Murray's clinic -- a nondescript building in northeast Houston -- was swarmed by television broadcast trucks, and helicopters hovered overhead.

Agents left the office soon after noon with a forensic image of a business computer hard drive and 21 documents, Chernoff said in a statement.

"They cooperated fully," a Houston Police Department officer told a crowd of reporters and onlookers outside.   Continued...

<p>Houston police stand outside the Armstrong Medical Clinic where Drug Enforcement Agents (DEA), Los Angeles police detectives and Houston uniformed officers carry out a search warrant against Conrad Murray, the doctor who was with pop icon Michael Jackson when he died, in Houston July 22, 2009. REUTERS/Richard Carson</p>