Limbaugh Detained for Unathorized Viagra Possession (VIDEO)

Rush Limbaugh is once again in trouble for prescription drug irregularities: This time, he was carrying Viagra without his name on the bottle.

Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription. Customs officials found a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra in his luggage that didn’t have Limbaugh’s name on it, but that of two doctors, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes,” Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney, said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection examined the 55-year-old radio commentator’s luggage after his private plane landed at the airport from the Dominican Republic, said Miller. The matter was referred to the sheriff’s office, whose investigators interviewed Limbaugh. According to Miller, Limbaugh said that the Viagra was for his use, and that he obtained it from his doctors. Investigators confiscated the drugs, which treats erectile dysfunction, and Limbaugh was released without being charged.

One could understand the fuss if Limbaugh were carrying Viagra in case quantities, raising the possibility that it was for resale. But, really, they’re detaining people for hours for a mismatched drug label? Indeed, devoting man-hours to reading the labels on drug bottles and cross-checking them with ID cards?

Further, granting that Limbaugh is a public figure, why are they having a news conference about what, at most, is a second-degree misdemeanor? Unless they’re charging people with something, one would think citizens have some right to privacy in these matters.

AP has a video entitled “Limbaugh Carrying Viagra Without a Prescription

Rush Limbaugh Carrying Viagra Without a Prescription VIDEO

Crooks and Liars has video from an early report on this by Keith Olberman.

UPDATE: Much discussion in the comments about the nature of Limbaugh’s “probabation.” Commenter just me provides a link to the plea agreement. I’ve thumbnailed it below.

Rush Limbaugh Deferred Prosecution AgreementRush Limbaugh Deferred Prosecution Agreement p. 2Rush Limbaugh Deferred Prosecution Agreement p. 3

If he’s actually charged with a crime here, he’s clearly in violation of #1. One wonders if “the Dominican Republic” constitutes a violation of #9; methinks not. Of course, the reason Limbaugh was allowed to cop to a non-plea was not, as many commenters claim, he’s a bigshot but, because the prosecutors didn’t think they had enough to convict. That’s unlikely to change with the discovery of improperly labeled Viagra on his person.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin agrees, wondering where the “privacy mongers” are on this issue. She also observes, “Why the hell is the Sheriff’s Office releasing the name of the drug–other than the attempted public humiliation of a conservative icon? Why wouldn’t it have sufficed to identify it as a non-narcotic prescription drug?” Indeed.

UPDATE: Limbaugh joked about the incident on today’s show, according to AP:

Limbaugh joked about the search on his radio show Tuesday, saying Customs officials didn’t believe him when he said he got the pills at the Clinton Library and he was told they were blue M&Ms. He later added, chuckling: “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”

Later in the piece, we get some legal analysis:

This latest case may simply be dismissed if prosecutors can confirm with Limbaugh’s doctor that the prescription was indeed for Limbaugh, said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Florida. “It’s perhaps a little embarrassing but not highly incriminating,” Coffey said. In addition, possession of Viagra is in a “completely different universe than a matter that would involve Schedule Two (controlled) substances such as OxyContin” Coffey added.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Viagra is not considered a controlled substance because “it’s not something you can be addicted to,” said DEA Investigator Maria Gilbert.

I’ll refrain from commentary on that one….

UPDATE: More funnies via Drudge via Hot Air:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: ‘HOW DID BOB DOLE’S LUGGAGE GET ON MY AIRPLANE? I TOLD MY DOCTOR I WAS WORRIED ABOUT THE NEXT ELECTION‘…

Heh.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Fersboo says:

    But it is Rush, therefore, it is in the ‘public interest’ to point out his misfortunes.

  2. madmatt says:

    Rushie is also on probation from his last run in with the law…thats 2 strikes, hopefully he gets his 3rd in california and they lock him up forever!!!

  3. Andy Vance says:

    But, really, they�re detaining people for hours for a mismatched drug label?

    Yes, if by “people” you mean drug offenders planning to travel to third-world drug haven.

    If he’d been sentenced like every other poor slob, he’d also be pissing in a cup three times a week in the presence of his probation officer.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Andy: Sounds like he was coming from the DR. And, again, we’re talking one bottle of Viagra, not a suitcase full of cocaine.

  5. legion says:

    Yes James, and we’re also talking about a known drug offender currently carrying a suspended sentence. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to realize such a person is going to get extra scrutiny – public figure or not.

    This is concrete evidence that Rush, whether because of his addiction or because of his personal nature, is simply not capable of respecting & obeying the law.

  6. Ed says:

    So why was Rush visiting the child prostitution capital of the Western Hemisphere with an unlabeled bottle of viagra? Was he with his wife? Oh that’s right, he’s not married. Since he’s a righteous born-again Christian, I’m sure he has a good explanation. Right?…Hello?…Is that the sound of crickets?

  7. Pug says:

    ..why are they having a news conference about what, at most, is a second-degree misdemeanor?

    Committing a second degree misdemeanor while on probation is a violation of probation. Probation is serious business. A violation subjects one to revocation of probation and sentencing on the original charge, which in Limbaugh’s case is illegally obtaining controlled narcotics like OxyContin, a very serious charge that carries long prison sentences as punishment.

    If you doubt there are people in Florida serving long sentences for similar crimes following a violation of probation, you are very naive about how the real criminal justice system, the one regular people are subject to, works.

  8. James Joyner says:

    Pug: True enough although, again, Limbaugh hasn’t been charged with anything here. And the sheriff’s office doesn’t hold press conferences about ordinary probationers who might or might not be charged with second degree misdemeanors in the future.

  9. SgtFluffy says:

    Sheesh, it had his doctors names on it, get a grip

  10. Anderson says:

    Duncan “Atrios” Black, quoting the CNN story:

    A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was “labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes,” Roy Black, Limbaugh’s attorney, said in a statement.

    But if that is something doctors and their patients can legally do then fine by me. And, if it is, then I’ll actually feel bad for the bloated one. Grabbing people in airports ’cause they have a bottle of Viagra is pretty silly, assuming that’s all it was about.

    Indeed.

  11. just me says:

    My doctors have given me samples of things quite often-my daughter has gotten advair on several occassions from my brother in law physician.

    Given the fact that viagra isn’t a controlled substance (ie it is a drug a doctor can give out in sample form) I am having trouble getting the excitement over this.

    If Limbaugh was carrying drugs that actually caused you to get high, I might see the press conference, but I hardly think viagra is worth any charges at all or even a probation violation charge, it just makes the people in law enforcement look petty.

    And having worked in probation, believe me you usually get several strikes before you head off to the pokey.

  12. Pug says:

    I don’t think possessing Viagra is a serious matter, either. However, it sounds like Limbaugh may be getting treated a little better than most, not worse.

    First, what is a probationer doing in the Dominican Republic, anyway? Believe me, your average probationer is not vacationing there with the permission of his probation officer. It is a violation to leave the jurisdiction without written permission.

    Limbaugh is on probation for a damn serious charge, one that gets quite a few folks sent to prison for a long time. He is in community supervision and he shouldn’t treated any differently than anyone else. Other probationers are checking in once a month at the probation office and peeing in a bottle. Is Limbaugh?

    And having worked in probation, believe me you usually get several strikes before you head off to the pokey.

    Knowing someone who is doing seven years in Florida for writing bad checks and then violating probation with a positive drug test (marijuana), I can tell you it all depends on the judge.

  13. LJD says:

    Rush was just trying to ‘bone up’ on the competition….

    Airport security: ‘Sir, is that a weapon in your pants?
    Limbaugh: Why no, I, uh, just, um, uh…

    Seriously though, it’s interesting to see so many willing to pile on the judgements about an individual’s charater. Must not be anything they can say to rebut the man’s words that they hate him so much for…

  14. McGehee says:

    Pug, you may be over-reading the deal Limbaugh has with the state over the oxycontin thing. I don’t see the word “probation” anywhere in the story about this incident.

    Limbaugh’s case stands with a not-guilty plea and no prosecution so long as he behaves — I don’t think that qualifies as “probation.” It’s more like deferred prosecution under certain conditions.

    You can’t have a second strike without a first.

  15. SgtFluffy says:

    Limbaugh did not plead guilty to anything. He agreed to continue his rehab, there was no probation

  16. just me says:

    First, what is a probationer doing in the Dominican Republic, anyway? Believe me, your average probationer is not vacationing there with the permission of his probation officer. It is a violation to leave the jurisdiction without written permission.

    Depends on the type of probation you are under. They vary, and celebrities almost always have the ability to travel in their agreements.

    Although I think Rush’s probation is more of a defferred probation, where there isn’t a supervising officer, and there isn’t an actual agreement other than that he agrees to obey the law for a specifically set amount of time, if no charges are filed within that period, and he follows through on any aspects of the agreement (usually these types of agreements come with a promise to pay restitution-moot in this case-or to complete a drug treatment program-which he did already) then probation is ended by the judge.

    I haven’t read the specific terms of his probation, but you are making an assumption that probation is one size fits all-it isn’t.

  17. just me says:

    Okay-did some research.

    Limbaugh signed a defferred prosecution agreement. Basically if he didn’t violate the agreement for the period of 18 months-then he wouldn’t be prosecuted for the original charge of doctor shopping. It is essentially a way to make the charges go away and to avoid having a conviction on his record.

    There were some common probation type restrictions (wrt jobs etc) but there was no restriction at all placed on his ability to travel. It also didn’t prohibit legal use of intoxicants, only the misuse/over use of them.

    This was the first link I clicked, and it had a photo copy of the actual agreement just scroll to the bottom of the page. http://www.slate.com/id/2140956/entry/2140957/?nav=tap3.

  18. Anderson says:

    I think Limbaugh has an excellent defense: he’s a dick, and thus Viagra is indispensable to his daily functioning.

  19. McGehee says:

    @ Just Me:

    Heh.

  20. SgtFluffy says:

    I just can’t do it, I just can’t….