Drug task force, DEA arrests local doctor

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

Drug Enforcement Agency officials and the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force today arrested a doctor after a Shelby County Grand Jury indicted him April 19 on drug-related offenses.

Dr. Jerry B. Hankins, 44, is charged with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, with a bond of $50,000 each, and three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, also with bonds of $50,000 each.

Hankins was booked into the Shelby County Jail and had not posted the total $300,000 bond as of 5 p.m. April 22.

Dr. Jerry B. Hankins

Drug task force investigators in December 2010 began investigating 280 Recovery, a medical clinic formed to treat opiate addiction and located at 16233 Highway 280 in Chelsea. The investigation focused “primarily” on Hankins, according to the drug task force.

The investigation was a collaborative effort with the DEA and the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy.

Investigators determined that Hankins, of Birmingham, was not operating in accordance to rules set forth by the DEA, and that he violated several state statutes, according to a drug task force press release.

“Prescription drug diversion is extremely profitable and unfortunately costly to those who become addicted to prescriptions drugs,” drug task force commander Lt. Chris George said in the release. “This clinic was being used to facilitate the distribution of some very addictive controlled drugs.  I am thankful for the work of our investigators as well as the work conducted by the DEA and Board of Pharmacy.”