Federal drug agents seized a bottle of a prescription drug hydrocodone (Vicodin) and a single tube of steroid gel at the Houston Press office as part of the DEA’s probe into a reporter’s examination of online pharmacies, the newspaper says. Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media, said in a statement posted on Poynter.org that reporter Craig Malisow was warned by an agent that he had stepped over the line as he gathered his evidence.
The reporter also became the focus of a disgruntled source who revealed his “secret” password online. His notes were erased, and personal e-mails were reviewed by third parties. Said Lacey: “At Village Voice Media, we are not surprised that entrepreneurs engaged in dispensing narcotics online might engage in unethical disclosures in the course of a reporter’s attempt to shed light upon their business practices.”