As a result of an ongoing investigation by the Pinehurst Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a search warrant was executed at the office of Dr. Philip Cantu located at 220 Strickland Drive in Pinehurst. Pinehurst Police Chief Fred R. Hanauer III reported that at 9:30 a.m. today, Pinehurst officers and DEA agents, assisted by the Precinct 2 Constable’s office, Bridge City and Orange Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office executed the search warrant. Although the office was not open for business and the front door was locked, Dr. Cantu’s staff was present in the office and cooperated fully with police efforts. DEA agents seized several boxes of evidence during the operation and interviewed the employees. Police officers identified and interviewed several patients in the parking lot who did not seem to be deterred by the presence of police as they arrived in a steady stream to see the doctor. Incidentally, Dr. Cantu is currently incarcerated in the Orange County Jail on an unrelated felony assault arrest that occurred in a neighboring jurisdiction on Wednesday, July 23. A bond of $10,000 has been placed by Judge David Peck.

According to Chief Hanauer, his department began receiving complaints more than three years ago from citizens, ex-employees as well as area pharmacies as to the medical practices of Dr. Cantu. A joint investigation with Pinehurst Police and the DEA was initiated which revealed an unusually large amount of patients being seen by Dr. Cantu from this area as well as the state of Louisiana. Chief Hanauer stated, “Prescription drug abuse is a major problem and we take it very seriously. We will do our part to protect our citizens from this type of practice as well as the residual crimes that always seem to be present such as possession of non prescription drugs, property crimes, crimes against persons and more recently, reports of loitering and prostitution in the parking lot of the doctor’s office. It is not known at this time what, if any, charges will be filed as a result of the seizures. Records will be analyzed by experts to determine if violations have occurred.

Anyone with information about this operation or any other crimes within the City of Pinehurst are encourage to report them to the Pinehurst Police Department at 409-886-2221 or in person at 2493 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.