Prescription drug ring busted

PRICES CORNER, Del. - November 18, 2008 - It happened at a pharmacy in the University Plaza shopping and then again at a drug store in Canby Park.

Delaware state police say about 15 local drug stores were hit, all by people with phony prescriptions for percocet, a powerful narcotic.

"What we're dealing with is what we're call ing a serial prescription ring," said Cpl. Jeffrey Whitemarsh.

Cpl. Whitemarsh says this all began back in July with one stolen pad and an alert pharmacist.

Police credit that pharmacist with realizing the percocet prescription he was asked to fill was written on a day the doctor's office was closed.

Investigators then concluded an entire prescription pad had been stolen, possibly by a patient.

It didn't take state police long to realize 16 people allegedly wrote phony prescriptions. Before all was said and done, 3,000 percocet pills were on the street.

Police say it's not the largest drug bust on record, but big enough, especially since insurance fraud was also involved.

"Some insurance companies were billed for the percocet, and also Delaware Medicaid. The taxpayers were paying for some of these prescriptions," said Cpl. Whitemarsh.

15 people have already turned themselves in for charges ranging from obtaining a controlled substance by fraud to forgery. All 16 suspects live in New Castle County. The one suspect who has not turned himself in is 39-year-old William Detter of Newark.

He, along with the 15 others, will be charged with felonies.

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