|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
TEN CHARGED IN HUMPHREYS COUNTY ROUND-UP OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG CASES
NASHVILLE - Ten people are charged in an undercover police investigation in Humphreys County, with most of the charges involving prescription drugs, and police say more arrests are expected.
The Office of Inspector (OIG), working with officers of the Waverly Police Department and the Humphrey County Sheriff, today announced the arrest of nine people for drug fraud and a 10th person is charged with TennCare “doctor shopping.”
“We do not tolerate TennCare fraud, especially when people are subsidizing a criminal lifestyle with taxpayer funds,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are committed to tracking these offenders down and pressing charges.”
The arrests made so far include:
- Melissa Grisham, 43, of Waverly, accused of three counts of sale of a controlled substance for selling the painkiller Oxycodone to an undercover agent.
- Melton Miller, 61, of Waverly, charged with four counts of sale of a legend drug and one count of sale of a Scheduled III controlled drug. Police say that on five separate occasions Miller sold, bartered or gave away both legend drugs and a controlled substance. The drugs involved were the painkiller Hydrocodone; Chlorzoxazone, which is a muscle relaxor; Naprosyn, a prescription form of the anti-inflammatory medication Naproxen; and Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride, which is a strong antibiotic.
- Judy Thorne, 63, of Waverly, charged with two counts of sale of a controlled substance. Police say that on two separate occasions Thorne sold the painkillers Morphine and Oxycodone to an undercover agent.
- Wanda Burke, 51, of Waverly, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of sale of a legend drug. Burke is accused of selling the anti-anxiety medication Trazodone and Penicillin to an undercover agent. The Trazodone prescription had been obtained by her husband, and was paid for by TennCare.
- Larry Story, 64, of Waverly, charged with four counts of sale of a legend drug. Police say that on four separate occasions Story sold, bartered or gave away legend drugs, including the painkiller Tramadol, as well as Amoxicillin, an anti-biotic and Guaifenesin/Dyphylline, which is used to treat asthma and other bronchial ailments.
- Candace Robertson, 38, of McEwen, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance. Robertson is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling this prescription to an undercover agent.
- Marty Robertson, 43, of McEwen, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance for selling a portion of the painkiller Hydrocodone to an undercover agent, after using TennCare to pay for it.
- Karen Corlew, 45, of New Johnsonville, charged with two counts of sale of a controlled substance for selling to undercover agents the painkiller Oxycodone and Hydroxyzine Pamoate, which is an antihistamine that’s also used as a sedative.
- Valerie Adams, 50, of Waverly, charged with one count of TennCare fraud, two counts of sale of a controlled substance and one count of casual exchange. Adams is accused of twice using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, concealing the fact she planned to sell a portion of the drugs. On another occasion, she made a trade for the tranquilizer Valium.
- Richard A. Hall, 39, of Waverly, charged for a second time with TennCare “doctor shopping.” He’s accused of six counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Hall failed to disclose to his doctor that he had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received a prescription for the strong painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Sale of a controlled substance is a Class C felony that carries a sentence of up to six years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,225 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."