The Drug Enforcement Administration has joined the investigation into the death of [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]. According to The Associated Press, the agency — which is tasked with enforcing the nation's controlled-substances laws — has been asked by Los Angeles police to help investigate Jackson's doctors and his possible drug use prior to his death last Thursday (June 25) at the age of 50.
A federal law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to MTV News that the DEA is now involved in the investigation.
A number of stories have emerged concerning Jackson's alleged use and potential abuse of a number of prescription sedatives, antidepressants and pain medications, as well as allegations by a former nurse that Jackson desperately sought help obtaining the powerful surgical anesthetic Diprivan (also known as Propofol), which is not intended for private use, in order to use it as a sleep aid.
The Los Angeles Police Department asked the DEA to join the ongoing probe into Jackson's death, hoping that the federal agency can provide some of its expertise in investigating drug abuse, illicit drug manufacturers known as "pill mills" and substances local police may not be familiar with, an unnamed official told the AP. To date, the LAPD has searched Jackson's home twice and removed bags of "medical evidence" and unnamed prescription medications. They also impounded the car of Jackson's private doctor, Conrad Murray, which also reportedly contained medical evidence pertinent to the case.
Jackson had reportedly struggled with a dependence on pain medication in the past. On Thursday (July 2), one of his close friends, medium Uri Geller, told the AP that he tried in vain to get the singer to stop abusing painkillers and other prescription drugs.
"When Michael asked for something, he got it. This was the great tragedy," said Geller, who lives in England and described a serious falling-out with Jackson over the issue several years ago. Geller, a performer who claims to have psychic abilities, said he often had to "shout at Michael, to scream at Michael" when he sought to confiscate the singer's stash of medication during Jackson's travels in England.
"Most of the people around Michael could not say 'No!' to him," said Geller, who claimed he slept on the floors and sofas of Jackson's hotel rooms during visits to the U.K. in a bid to talk sense into his "sometimes-incoherent" friend. "He desperately needed someone there all the time who could say 'No!' and mean it, who could warn him of the dangers ... and tell him the truth. ... The big problem was that many people wanted to help Michael, to save his life, but we could not be there all the time."
One reason Jackson allegedly relied on medication was to help him cope with the constant pressure and criticism from the media in his later years, when he was the subject of two different allegations that he sexually abused underage boys.
"With his sanity buffeted and health wracked by global bullying nonstop, I think it's actually incredible that Michael held up as well as he did," Geller said.
A similar story was told by Matt Fiddes, an English karate instructor who worked as a senior bodyguard during Jackson's travels in Britain for a decade. Fiddes said Jackson abused prescription medications and sometimes took so many pills that it was difficult to wake him up for appearances.
"I confiscated packages and Uri did too. I mean, Uri confiscated injection equipment from his room," Fiddes said in an interview with Britain's Sky News on Thursday. "And Uri would scream at Michael, you know, intensely, to stop doing this. But we just were getting pushed out."
On one occasion, Fiddes said Jackson wanted to visit the London Zoo, but was so out of it that he could not leave his room, even after the bodyguard and Geller were "both shaking him trying to wake him up. It was clear that he had taken something that morning and he was hard to wake. We were extremely concerned. ... We couldn't get him in a state that would portray him in a good light."
Fiddes said both he and Geller told others in Jackson's inner circle who were allegedly supplying the pop star with medications to stop, but when word got back to Jackson of their efforts, he would "have a screaming fit that we were interfering with his private life," Fiddes recalled. "He was in denial."
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
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