Pharmacy alert to forgeries

COVINGTON - Three attempts to obtain drugs through fraudulent prescriptions were thwarted last week at the Kroger pharmacy on U.S. Highway 278, according to the Covington Police Department.

Officers were called to the pharmacy when a suspect who gave his name as Eric Long presented a prescription at the pharmacy for a codeine-based cough syrup, prescribed to a man named Stephen Witlock by a doctor in Montgomery, Ala.

The pharmacist told officers he contacted the phone number given for the doctor's office and was told the doctor had not been in practice for approximately a year. The pharmacist said he checked his files and noted that Long had been successful in having a similar prescription filled a week earlier for the same prescription.

Long was arrested, according to a CPD incident report, and when his vehicle was searched, deputies found an unopened bottle of the same cough syrup. That prescription was prescribed to James Terry and filled by the Medicine Shoppe in Conyers.

Long was charged with two counts of first-degree forgery, two counts of attempting to obtain a dangerous drug by fraud and possession of a Schedule I drug without a prescription.

It was also discovered that Eric Long was an alias and the man's real name is Tyrone Weems. Detective D.J. Seals said charges would be forthcoming on giving false information to a law enforcement officer.

The next day a woman by the name of Linda Smith of Atlanta also presented what is allegedly a fraudulent prescription for codeine-based cough syrup at Kroger.

The pharmacist said upon contacting the doctor's office, he was told the prescription was a forgery.

Smith was charged with one count of forgery in the first degree and one count of forgery in the second degree.

Seals said it is not uncommon for for people from other communities to come to Covington to try and obtain codeine-based cough syrup with a fraudulent prescription, thinking they will be overlooked.

The CPD was once again notified by the Kroger pharmacist of attempted prescription fraud, but this time the drugs involved included Lithium, Xanax and Robaxin.

The pharmacist told the officers that Samantha Frazee, 32, of 207 East Wade St., Oxford, dropped off the prescriptions and that it was apparent that someone had written over the refill amounts for the Xanax and Robaxin.

He called the prescribing physician's medical facility and was told no refills were authorized for those medications.

The suspect said she was given the prescriptions written just as they were presented to the pharmacist, according to the CPD report.

Frazee was arrested and charged with prescription forgery.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.