The Colorado Attorney General's Office announced on Thursday that it has charged 15 individuals of operating a prescription drug ring that involved fraudulently acquiring, diverting and distributing large amounts of oxycodone in the Denver metro area and in Oklahoma. Here are the details.
* Oxycodone is a Schedule II Controlled Substance which is highly addictive, according to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers stated that crimes involving prescription drugs are on the rise both in the state and across the nation.
* Beginning in July 2010, Robin Steinke, 45, is accused of coordinating and carrying out a scheme relying on a group of people profiting from the illegal acquisition and distribution of oxycodone, the attorney general's office reported. Steinke directed her associates to obtain the drug so that it could be sold at an inflated price.
* According to Steinke, Brighton, Colo., pharmacist Jeffrey Clawson, 52, agreed to collaborate with her and her network of patients to divert large quantities of the drug to the black market, according to the office.
* In addition to Steinke and Clawson, 13 other individuals were included in the 43-count indictment for their alleged role in the in the crime, including Celeste Deherrera, 46; Leticia Deherrera, 24; Christopher Peterson, 39; Christopher Gemeinhardt, 22; Shawna Lawley, 30; Joel Barr, 32; Jacquline Geist, 25; Andrew Guerrero, 22; Lisa Teitelbaum, 44; Rhonda Scott, 52; Sadie Grubbs, 24; Daniel Burke, 30; and Laurie Ann Larrew, 46.
* According to the indictment filed with the Adams County, Colo., District Court -- made available in Word format on the attorney general's website -- the group's crimes were discovered in March 2012, in Ardmore, Okla., when an employee at Reed Family Pharmacy was unable to verify a prescription for 280 dosage units of Oxycodone that a male, presenting to a Colorado ID card for a woman named "Robyn Myles," was seeking to have filled.
* After discovering that the phone number given for the doctor who allegedly wrote the prescription was false, the employee found a valid phone number for that doctor, who explained that some prescription pads had been stolen from his office.
* Later that day, the male suspect called and inquired about the status of the prescription. When he arrived at the pharmacy, law enforcement made contact with him and also with the two women who were in a vehicle bearing Colorado license plates. The women were identified as Robin Steinke and Leticia Deherrera.
* Also discovered in the vehicle at that time were bottles of pills, vials of suspected methamphetamine, suspected marijuana, glass pipes, digital scales, computers, a copier/printer/scanner, a laminator and a paper cutter. Police also found a weapon and three more driver's licenses with Steinke's picture and other people's names on them.
* Fraudulent prescriptions from different doctors in Colorado and the fake IDs were used to obtain pills in Colorado and Kansas, in addition to Oklahoma.
* Steinke's schemes also involved using and paying Clawson to supply oxycodone out of the Platte Valley Family Pharmacy, Inc.
* During its investigation, the attorney general's office worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the South Metro Drug Task Force, the North Metro Drug Task Force, the police departments of Broomfield, Denver, Greenwood Village, Parker, Sheridan and Thornton, Colo., along with the Carter County, Okla., District Attorney's Office.
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