NEWBURYPORT — Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the Water Street office of nationally known psychiatrist Keith Ablow and a High Street pharmacy, starting Thursday morning.
For several hours starting around 7 a.m. agents from the New England branch of the federal DEA, supplemented by area law enforcement officials, began removing paperwork and office equipment from Ablow's office at 36 Water St.
By noon, several cars and trucks were filled with Ablow's belongings. Agents cleared the scene at about 1 p.m.
DEA agents also visited the Daniel Lynch Pharmacy on High Street that morning, according to Newburyport City Marshal Mark Murray
What the DEA was looking for remains unknown. DEA Special Agent Timothy Desmond confirmed the raid on Water Street but declined to comment further.
"The DEA executed a court authorized federal search warrant for the office of Dr. Keith Ablow located on Water Street as part of an ongoing investigation," Desmond said.
Desmond declined to comment on the Lynch raid or that it took place at all.
When a reporter called the pharmacy, a person there declined to comment and hung up the phone.
Murray said the DEA called his department on Wednesday to alert them about the raids.
"They just gave us the heads up," Murray said, adding he did not know what the DEA hoped to find in Ablow's office. "It's their investigation."
Among those assisting the DEA was a Rowley police officer. Rowley police Chief Scott Dumas said that officer has special skills in that kind of investigation. He declined to comment when asked when the DEA reached out to his department.
Thursday's raid marked the latest chapter in what has been a years-long legal struggle for Ablow.
Ablow, 58, of Newbury, recently settled a series of lawsuits filed by former patients who accused him of engaging in sexual behavior with them, inappropriately prescribing drugs and other “boundary violations," according to Salem Superior Court records. Before then, his medical license was suspended in Massachusetts and New York.
Ablow's attorney, Paul Cirel of Todd & Weld, told a reporter in June 2019, that he was appealing the suspension.
Three months later, a harassment prevention order taken out against him by a former employee was terminated by a Newburyport District Court judge.
Ablow at one point was a regular Fox News contributor and hosted his own syndicated television talk show.