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Cappleman: Midtown Medical Clinic Raid Months In the Making

UPTOWN — The federal raid and closing of Midtown Medical Center was breaking news last week, but activity at the clinic had long aroused suspicions in the neighborhood.

Federal agents stormed the clinic at 4527 N. Sheridan Road March 7 with the intent of busting an illegal prescription operation, officials said.

"Several months ago," a local building manager went to the 46th Ward office to "report suspicious activities" at the clinic, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said in a newsletter to constituents Wednesday.

Neighbors at a CAPS meeting made similar complaints in January, Cappleman said.

"I filed a complaint against the physician with the State of Illinois, and followed up with State Sen. Heather Steans and State Rep. Greg Harris, who were able to bring in additional resources to address this," Cappleman said. "Afterwards, the DEA and IRS executed a search warrant."

Cappleman and chief of staff Tressa Feher declined to name the doctor, who is the target in an ongoing investigation.

But Feher said the feds stormed the clinic because "people were going in paying a certain amount of money, and they were getting any prescription they wanted.

"People were coming from outside the neighborhood — for sure," she said.

An employee at a store next to the clinic told DNAinfo.com Chicago that he noticed that a lot of the people coming to and from Midtown had out-of-state IDs. It's something he observed when they dropped in to buy cigarettes.

People in the neighborhood have said that there would be long lines stretching out of the clinic in the morning filled with people waiting for prescriptions.

Richard Thale, Cappleman's longtime partner, said at a CAPS meeting Wednesday that "it had gone on for a long time." He was pleased with the quick response by authorities.

"It happened much quicker than I expected, because these things typically take a long time," said Thale, chairman of the Town Hall police district's court advocacy committee.