PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration served an administrative warrant at the Kaiser Permanente Medical building in north Portland Tuesday morning.
The DEA says it was part of a one-day operation involving Kaiser pharmacies across the country. But at first, people inside the building say they had no idea what was happening.
FOX 12 spoke with a woman who was at a doctor’s appointment at Kaiser Permanente’s east building on North Interstate when an announcement came over the clinic’s loudspeaker that left her worried.
“It said code silver and weapons, and that’s all I heard,” the woman, who requested not to share her name, said. “Because it was traumatic to hear, those are the two things I honed-in on.”
The woman says the nurse told her to wait, and without context, she says her mind started spinning.
“I just thought with the way things have been going and with the way the world is right now, that absolutely anything could happen and it was going to happen right then and there,” she said. ‘I texted my family members and told them I loved them and what was going on, and then my phone died and I just sat there.”
Turns out, agents with the DEA were there to serve what they call an administrative warrant. While they can’t talk specifics, they say in general, they’re looking to make sure pharmacies are in compliance when it comes to storage and records for controlled substances.
The DEA says int not unusual for agents to wear guns in the normal course of their work, but in this case, it appears there was some confusion at first about who they were.
A Kaiser Permanente spokesperson released a statement to FOX 12 regarding the incident.
“We sincerely apologize to our members who may have been disturbed by the arrival of DEA investigators at our Interstate Campus. During the few minutes that our security team was confirming the authentication of these officials, a “Code Silver” was inadvertently called. We apologize if this caused any concern for our members.”
The woman FOX 12 spoke with says the nurses and doctors at Kaiser stayed calm and composed during the initial moments of confusion.
Only one location in Oregon - Kaiser Interstate - was part of the operation.
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