Prince Painkillers Were Prescribed in Friend's Name, Affidavit Shows

An exterior shot of Paisley Park

According to an affidavit obtained by the Associated Press, a doctor who treated Prince shortly before his death prescribed him oxycodone, writing the prescription to his longtime friend and collaborator Kirk Johnson instead of Prince himself.

Several search warrants were unsealed Monday near the one-year anniversary of Prince's death of a fentanyl overdose.

A Minnesota defense attorney who's well-versed on drug cases says prosecutors are unlikely to pursue charges against a doctor who allegedly wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else's name.

The search warrants show that after Prince's death, investigators searched a green backpack that contained unprescribed medications used to treat opioid addicts. Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg used Johnson's name "for Prince's privacy", the affidavit reads. But Johnson hasn't talked to federal prosecutors, according to the official with knowledge of the investigation, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at age 57 on April 21, 2016.

Another search warrant indicates Johnson "was known to have contacted" Schulenberg "to help Prince with regards to hip pain".

The documents also show the extent to which detectives went to track down the source of the synthetic fentanyl that an autopsy determined was the drug that killed Prince.

Patients who take prescription opioids eventually build up a tolerance and need to take stronger doses to get the same effect.

Almost a year after Prince died from an accidental drug overdose in his suburban Minneapolis studio and estate, investigators still haven't interviewed a key associate nor asked a grand jury to investigate potential criminal charges, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

Representatives for Johnson did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment.

Criminal justice experts say the slow pace of the investigation doesn't necessarily mean it's in trouble or that no one will ever be charged.

According to a search warrant, Schulenberg told authorities he saw Prince on April 7 and April 20, and prescribed medications for Prince to be picked up at a Walgreen's pharmacy.

The documents suggest Prince was struggling with prescription opioid addiction. Often times, counterfeit prescription drugs are laced with fentanyl, unbeknownst to the user, causing an epidemic in the US and Canada.

In practice, laws against prescribing drugs for someone under a false name are not usually enforced when a doctor intends to protect a celebrity's privacy, said Los Angeles attorney Ellyn Garofalo.

Only one tested positive for fentanyl, and police continue to investigate how he got the drug - which he did not have a prescription for.

The documents also say some of the drugs in Prince's bedroom were in a suitcase with the name "Peter Bravestrong" on it. Andrew Kornfeld was the person who called 911, Mauzy said.

"The investigation remains active at this point", chief deputy for the Carver County Sheriff's Office Jason Kamerud said, according to the Times. The official who spoke to the AP said the case has taken investigators to IL and California, as authorities have interviewed friends, family and any potential witnesses, including the flight crew and hospital staff that were present when Prince overdosed on the plane.



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