Prescription fraud case


PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- An alert, seasoned pharmacy worker is being credited for helping crack a prescription fraud case in Kitsap County.

Investigators believe five men used forged paperwork at a Port Orchard pharmacy at least three dozen times in the past year, filling prescriptions for oxycodone, methadone, and codeine to later sell on the street.

"Pills are being obtained and sold to who knows who," said Sgt. Ken Dickinson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. "It's extremely important, obviously. We don't want people selling drugs to anybody on the streets."

A pharmacy technician at the family-owned South Park Pharmacy, 1743 Village Lane SE, said her 'gut instinct' led her to call deputies after noticing something strange about a customer and his paperwork in early September.

"(The suspects) knew how to be friendly. They knew how to get on our good side," said the worker, Laura, who asked that her last name not be used due to safety concerns. "Finally something said: This isn't right."

"I started checking signatures on certain prescriptions," she continued. "They were all pretty much matching with the same ink, the same pattern, and so I started making calls to doctors."

Investigators began examining store records and found false prescriptions dating back to October 2014. The street value of the drugs tops $50,000, Dickinson said.

"(The suspects) are coming from Seattle, typically after hours, after 5 o'clock in the afternoon, after the clinics would be open to verify if (the papers) valid or not," he added.

Detectives have been able to identify two suspects using surveillance video and paperwork. Warrants have been issued for 62-year old Leonard Charles White of Seattle and 31-year old Demetri Arnell Manning of Kent.

Three additional suspects are also at large.

"We have a family customer base. We know pretty much all of them that come in the door," Laura added. "When you get somebody that comes in and breaks that trust or abuses that trust, it's maddening."

Source: KomoNews

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