Prescription Drug Bust in Clovis Home

February 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Clovis Police busted through the front door of 37 year old Frank Bertao's Quincy Avenue home Thursday morning and said they found a mini pharmacy. 400 illegal prescription pills like Valium, Lortab, Methadone, Vicodin and most concerning to police, OxyContin.

Corporal Vince Weibert with Clovis Police said, "We find this is a significant problem with the youth in our community, we have had overdoses and deaths as a result of this."

Weibert has seen a dramatic rise in the number of Clovis teens abusing prescription drugs in the last few years. He said OxyContin, a powerful painkiller intended for cancer patients, is in big demand. "When kids are unable to get OxyContin they will often graduate to heroin afterwards because the effects are identical and the addiction is just as strong."

A neighbor of Bertao who didn't want to be identified said "That's really disturbing. I'm a parent myself." The woman told Action News she saw cars coming and going from Bertao's home around the clock. "We had also noticed a lot of younger kids that would be at his house with him, which we thought was inappropriate because he was quite a bit older, and they would be there partying with him."

Clovis Police also found several types of anabolic steroids, $86,000 dollars in cash and a loaded semi-automatic pistol.

Investigators said Bertao owns a business in Fresno called "Full Throttle Suspension" which designs and builds extreme lift kits for trucks but added that it was Bertao's home that seemed to be a more popular place. "Obviously there's a lot of activity at this residence because people were still coming to the door to make purchases while detectives were there."

Clovis detectives said they arrested some of those people that showed up to the house this morning and could make more arrests.

Police are still looking into how and where Bertao got the prescription drugs.

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