Las Vegas health officials are accused of shipping psychiatric patients on one-way tickets via Greyhound buses to Los Angeles, San Francisco and other California cities. Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich tells NBC4 his office is investigating the claims. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on April 22, 2013.
LA's downtown Greyhound bus depot may have been one of several California entry points for countless psychiatric patients from Nevada, if allegations against a Las Vegas medical facility can be proven.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is formally investigating the complaints.
And without naming the hospital, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich confirms he, too, is on the case.
"We got preliminary reports about three to four weeks ago on this issue and immediately opened up a criminal investigation. We were looking at it, at first from the civil side, and we realized that the 150 patients allegedly have been dumped," Trutanich said.
State law and city ordinances prohibit such practices, according to Trutanich, who said the practice is human trafficking as far as he's concerned.
"The reason you dump patients is you want to get out from under the cost of them. You jeopardize their safety, and we have no idea what the elements are that these individuals who have been dumped, allegedly have been dumped onto our streets, are suffering from," Trutanich said.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval stands by his state's hospital, but Trutanich said no one has been cleared yet.
"We will find these patients," Trutanich said, "and we will bring the perpetrators of their dumping to justice."
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