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Corey Haim's death linked to an illegal prescription drug ring

Corey Haim's, (who died early Wednesday morning) death is being linked to an "illegal and massive prescription drug ring," according to California Attorney General Jeffery Brown.

Brown's office is investigating "an unauthorized prescription under the former child star's name that was found during an ongoing investigation of fraudulent prescription-drug pads ordered from a vendor in San Diego."

Brown said this in an interview on CNN radio yesterday, "These prescriptions are very recent, and it involves Oxycontin and we're not talking just 40 pills, more than that."

This announcement comes before the coroner has even ruled on what killed Corey Haim. Corey has been struggling with drug addiction for many years. 

Haim who was 38, died early Wednesday after collapsing in a Los Angeles apartment that he shared with his mother. 

"Corey Haim's death is yet another tragedy linked to the growing problem of prescription-drug abuse, This problem is increasingly linked to criminal organizations, like the illegal and massive prescription-drug ring under investigation," Brown said. 

Brown also said, the ring uses stolen doctor's identities to order prescription-drug pads that are used to write the counterfeit prescriptions. 

"The doctor whose name is printed on the form is usually unaware that his or her identity has been stolen for this purpose," Brown said.

Just 11 days before his death, Haim got two powerful drugs from a pharmacy, according to a source that has knowledge of the transaction. Haim's primary care physican didn't know about the prescriptions and called the pharmacy two days later to find out what was given to Haim. 

In Brown's announcement it didn't specify whether or not any of the prescription drugs found in Haim's apartment after his death had been illegally obtained. 

According to the Los Angeles County Deputy Coroner Ed Winter, there were several prescripton drug bottles that were taken from his apartment, although the bottles indicated that the drugs included Vicodin, Valium and Soma, no tests have been done to confirm what they are. 

Haim had a prescription for the muscle relaxer Soma and the narcotic pain reliever Norco filled at a pharmacy on February 26, a source with knowledge of the transaction said.

Two days after Haim personally picked up the drugs, his primary-care doctor called the San Fernando Valley pharmacy to ask about the prescriptions, the source said.

The doctor said that "Haim was not feeling well" and he needed to know what drugs had been prescribed for the actor, the source said.

The source, who worked at the pharmacy, asked not to be identified because his employer had not authorized him to talk.

Haim's manager, Mark Heaslip, and close friend Corey Feldman both said Haim began seeing an addiction specialist two weeks before his death.

Tiffany Shepis, who was engaged to be married to Haim last May, said on HLN's "Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell" that he was taking large amounts of Valium and Vicodin during their yearlong relationship.

"You're talking about a person that, at the time when I knew him, you know, was ingesting 40 some-odd pills a day," Shepis said.

Even though the autopsy showed that Haim's heart was enlarged and he had fluid in his lungs, the coroner's chief investigator said a drug overdose has not been ruled out as the cause of the actor's death.

"You can have somebody with an enlarged heart and some other medical conditions, but you don't know if the actual cause of death is from illegal substances, medication or heart failure," Los Angeles County Deputy Coroner Ed Winter said Friday.

Heaslip said the enlarged heart was evidence that Haim's death was not caused by a drug overdose, but Winter disputed that.

 "There were some preliminary findings and we agreed to let the mother know what those were," Winter said. "It was explained to her that even though this is some preliminary findings that the doctor observed, there wouldn't be a final cause of death until the final toxicology tests are back."

The cause of death may not be determined for another six weeks, Winter said.

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