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Drugs, signs of marijuana grow operation found in medical director's home

8:05 AM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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Dr. Michael Lapaglia

A local Emergency Medical Services medical director is facing a list of charges, including felonies, after Knoxville police found various drugs and signs of a marijuana grow operation inside his home.

Late Monday night, a woman called police about a domestic dispute at the home of Dr. Michael Lapaglia, the EMS medical director for Anderson County.

Police say when they went inside his home on Fox Cove Road in West Knox County, they noticed a strong odor of marijuana.

Investigators searched the house and say they found more than two pounds of high-grade marijuana in various strains, 52 diazepam (Valium) pills, 22 amphetamine pills, 24 Oxycodone pills, two bottles of Propofol, seven vials of Succinylcholine, two vials of Marcaine, one vial of Bupivacaine, one vial of Flumazenil, 11 vials of Xylocaine, two vials of Lydocaine, one vial of Midazolam, one vial of Fentanyl, and one vial of Morphine. They also found three guns.

They discovered evidence of a past marijuana grow operation and marijuana in mason jars. They also found more than 100 glass marijuana pipes and bongs, and other various drug materials.

Lapaglia is facing five charges related to the discoveries and police say he could see more added as the investigation continues.

He is being held on a $31,000 bond.  

As for Anderson County EMS, Director Nathan Sweet said, "It won't affect our patient care in any way. Our contract is through the medical company TEAMHealth. Given the circumstances, a temporary medical director will fill in for however long is necessary."



Lapaglia is also the doctor who performed a procedure temporarily paralyzing a suspect to remove a rock of crack cocaine from their body. The cavity search was later ruled unreasonable search and seizure by an appeals court.



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