A local chiropractor with decades of experience treating patients in the Baton Rouge area was arrested this week more than a year after authorities discovered almost 30 pounds of prescription pills in his house and vehicle — some of which he admitted to buying "off the street."
Michael Goff, 63, is accused of illegal drug distribution.
The investigation started in July 2018 when deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the parking lot of Walgreens in the 12000 block of Perkins Road in response to reports of a man slumped over the steering wheel inside his vehicle, according to Goff's arrest report.
Chiropractors are not authorized to prescribe medications.
The following account is contained in Goff's arrest warrant, which was filed earlier this month. It's unclear why it took so long for him to be arrested.
Goff told first responders he was just taking a nap, but deputies noticed prescription pill bottles in the center console of his Mercedes. When Goff noticed the bottles too, he threw them under the driver's seat.
Investigators removed three pill bottles that were in plain view inside the vehicle and found that their labels were obliterated, making it impossible to tell for whom they had been prescribed. Goff told deputies he had a prescription for the narcotics — the opioid painkiller Hydrocodone and Vyvanse, which is a stimulant — but it was at home. Deputies noted in the warrant that he "could not explain why the labels were obliterated."
A search of Goff's person also yielded Adderall capsules in his pocket.
When asked why he was seen slumped over the steering wheel, Goff told investigators he "works late and often will take naps or sleep in his car." He said the Hydrocodone was for his back pain and the Vyvanse "had to do with the amount of hours he works between chiropractic clinics."
Deputies later obtained a search warrant for Goff's Mercedes, which yielded almost $10,000 in cash, two semi-automatic pistols and 87 prescription pill bottles — most with the labels torn off.
Goff told investigators some of the pill bottles were several years old because he never threw them away and sometimes removed the labels so his information wouldn't be visible to others. He said he typically carried thousands of dollars in cash and that the pistols were "for safety reasons due to him traveling between chiropractic offices and working hours extending into the evening time."
Deputies said he later admitted he had bought some of the pills "off the street" from "different people" who would meet him at various places, including outside the gym he would frequent: Planet Fitness on Siegen Lane.
Goff gave deputies permission to search his house in the Country Club of Louisiana, where investigators found two backpacks, a messenger bag and another garment bag filled with prescription pill bottles and bags containing more pills.
A total of 28.8 pounds of pills and capsules was recovered from Goff's house and his two vehicles — totaling 594 dosage units.
Goff was booked into Parish Prison on Monday and faces one count of possession with intent to distribute and two counts of possession of a firearm with controlled dangerous substances. He has since been released on $30,000 bond.
He is listed as the founder of Louisiana Health & Injury Centers, which has multiple locations across the Baton Rouge area, according to the business website. His bio says he specializes in treating patients who have been injured in car accidents or suffered sports-related injuries.
Goff was previously indicted on federal obstruction of justice charges in 2011 after FBI agents raided his clinics in 2006. But the charges were later dropped because of issues related to witness credibility, court records show. The indictment in that case says Goff paid a medical doctor to provide his chiropractic clinics with signed prescriptions for Hydrocodone, with the patient name and date sections left blank so "Goff could improperly issue the prescriptions to himself and others, at his discretion, without the involvement of the medical doctor."