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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: hydrocodone

Sacred Heart drug theft amount ‘incredible’

For almost four years, hundreds of thousands of powerful, highly controlled prescription narcotics disappeared from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s outpatient pharmacy and no one noticed. Between January and March alone, 745 hydrocodone pills were stolen each day, a police report says.

Three months ago, hospital officials asked Spokane police to investigate, and the magnitude of the theft became apparent.

Police say pharmacy technician Paul Martsin, 25, is suspected of stealing 261,756 hydrocodone pills since December 2009, with a street value exceeding $1 million.

Check out the full story here. (Jody Lawrence-Turner/The Spokesman-Review)

Drugs, guns seized near Valley school

Sheriff's investigators arrested a suspected methamphetamine dealer this week after a month's long investigation that yielded not only drugs but three guns.

His Spokane Valley home's backyard is connected to the playground of Trentwood Elementary School.

Gang and drug detectives obtained search warrants for the Eric D. Rangel's home, vehicle and person after a confidential informant bought methamphetamine from Rangel several times.

Police arrested Rangel, 26, Wednesday at East Eighth Avenue and South Carnahan Road in Spokane Valley and seized his car. He had methamphetamine and $3,400 on him, as well as two .9 mm pistols and additional meth in the car.

Detectives searched his home Thursday in the 4900 block of North Calvin Road and seized more meth, as well as heroin, hydrocodone, marijuana, a.12 gauge shotgun and .9 mm ammunition.

Rangel told detectives he sells meth in the Valley, according to a news release by Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

He also admitted to leaving a stolen firearm in a motel room where he'd briefly stayed. Deputies had recently recovered the firearm, which Rangel said he'd obtained in exchange for meth.

Rangel has felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing weapons.

2 more suspects ID’d in drug robbery

Two suspected accomplices have been charged with robbing a Spokane clinic of prescription drugs in December.

 Shawn Savynjo Struck, 41, was arrested this weekend on a second-degree robbery charge for allegedly helping Brian Lee “Rowdy” Riley rob the Spokane Falls Family Clinic, 120 W. Mission Ave. on Dec. 29. He remains in jail on $25,000 bond after appearing in court today.

Riley (pictured) was armed with a paintball gun when he robbed the clinic, police say. Struck held the door open for him, police say, and suspect Mary Jane Eilliot, 30, is accused of driving the getaway car. Elliot is wanted on a $30,000 warrant for second-degree robbery.

Riley pleaded guilty earlier this month to attempted second-degree robbery and second-degree robbery for the December case and for a gunpoint home-invasion robbery last August. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Riley told Elliott he shot the pharmacist with his paintball gun and someone threw a bottle of Hydrocodone at him, according to court documents. Elliott said she drove Riley to the clinic in exchange for 45 pills, police say.

Riley's girlfriend, Erica M. Solberg, is charged with witness tampering for allegedly intimidating a witness in the case.
  

Fugitive arrested in Center of Universe

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A man who failed to appear in court on charges he caused a disturbance at a Missoula hotel was taken into custody by a bail bond company after a standoff at a Wallace, Idaho, hotel.

Michael Dell Babinski, 42, was booked into the Missoula County jail early Tuesday, the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/HHBR9U) reported.

Chase Investigations owner Kelli Martin told the newspaper her team took Babinski into custody at about 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Wallace Inn. She said he raved about bombs and the federal Department of Homeland Security during the standoff.

Babinski initially was arrested Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn. He had been kicked out of the Missoula hotel on Thursday for having a dog. He returned on Friday. On Saturday, prosecutors said Babinski was again asked to leave and threatened to “take down” the hotel. Officers said he was carrying several knives, a semiautomatic handgun, a stun gun and pepper spray and had a large dog with him.

Officers who searched Babinski at the jail Saturday reported finding eight hydrocodone tablets and 7 ½ tablets of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug.

Babinski was released from jail Sunday after posting bond on $50,000 bail. Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech issued a $100,000 bench warrant Monday when Babinski failed to appear in court on two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal trespass and carrying concealed weapons.

A records check showed he had four restraining orders in Spokane County, Wash., and Shoshone County, Idaho, according to the affidavit. Two of those orders prohibit him from possessing firearms, it said.

Cops: Paintball gun-toting robber ID’d

A 26-year-old convicted felon has been identified as a suspect in a robbery with a paintball gun at a Spokane clinic last month.

Brian Lee “Rowdy” Riley, 26, is in jail on a  first-degree robbery charge for the Dec. 29 drug heist at the Spokane Falls Family Clinic, 120 W. Mission Ave.

Sheriff's deputies seized the black Volvo used in he robbery from a parking lot at 921 S. Pines Road in Spokane Valley later that night. The owner said a man named Corey had borrowed the car and returned with a bag full of Hydrocodone pills. A week later, a jail inmate identified Riley as being responsible for the robbery.

One woman also told police a friend of her son's - who she later identified as Riley - had bragged about robbing the pharmacy and had talked about planning more robberies, including attacks on pharmacy delivery vehicles, according to court documents. Police say the man's cell phone was registered to Riley, which led them to search his home the 2300 block of North Hutchinson on Jan. 19, according to a search warrant.

Detectives say the Volvo's owner told them in another interview on Jan. 25 that she'd driven Riley to the clinic in exchange for 45 Hydrocodone pills. Riley told her he shot the pharmacist with his paintball gun and someone threw a bottle of Hydrocodone at him, according to court documents. She has not yet been charged.

Riley was arrested after a pursuit with sheriff's deputies on Jan. 27 near 9526 E. Broadway Ave. He remains in jail on $100,000 for second-degree robbery.

RIley also has a $150,000 bond for first-degree burglary and robbery charges for an alleged gunpoint home-invasion robbery last August. He was charged in that case in December but showed up for an arraignment and was out of jail awaiting trial when he allegedly robbed the pharmacy.

Cops search home in drug robbery probe

Detectives searched a home recently to look for evidence in an armed robbery at a clinic last month

No arrests have been made, and the investigation into the Dec. 29 drug heist at the Spokane Falls Family Clinic, 120 W. Mission Ave., continues.

A pharmacy employee said a masked man armed with a paintball game stole 100 to 150 Hydrocodone pills.

Sheriff's deputies seized the black Volvo used in he robbery from a parking lot at 921 S. Pine in Spokane Valley later that night.

The owner said a man named Corey had borrowed the car and returned with a bag full of Hydrocodone pills. A week later, a jail inmate identified a 26-year-old convicted felon as being responsible for the robbery.

Detectives with the Spokane police major crimes unit searched that man's home in he 2300 block of North Hutchinson Road on Jan. 19, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday in Spokane County District Court.

CdA man busted in Ore. w/ 10lbs of pot

A Coeur d'Alene man was arrested in Oregon Thursday with 10 pounds of marijuana. 

Seth Anthony Mitchell, 22, was stopped for a traffic violation while driving a 2004 Ford F-150 on Highway 97 north of Madras at milepost 78 about 12:30 p.m.

Troopers found oxycodone and hydrocodone and arrested Mitchell for two drug charges, then obtained a search warrant and found the marijuana, according to Oregon State Police.

Mitchell faces an additional charge of unlawful possession, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance.

He was booked into the Jefferson County Jail.

Ex-postal worker sentenced in mail theft

An ex-postal supervisor and Air Force veteran will be on probation for five years for stealing prescription medication from mail.

Mark Charles Raley, 46, of Spokane also will pay $5,045 in restitution under a sentence imposed this week in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He pleaded guilty in May to two counts of theft of mail by a postal service employee.

Raley was a supervisor at the U.S. Postal Service Spokane Processing and Distribution Center when he became addicted to hydrocodone after undergone gastric bypass surgery. He was being treated at the Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center but grew heavily addicted and began sorting mail looking for VA package containing hydrocodone. He wouldn't steal any other prescription drugs, according to court documents.

“Mr. Raley does not have a checkered past and was not looking to profit from his conduct by selling to others; rather, he simply sought to support his hydrocodone addiction,” according to a sentencing memorandum prepared by his lawyer, John McEntire.

In a prepared statement, Michael Seitler, an Office of Inspector General special agent in charge of the VA’s northwest field office, said Raley “prevented numerous veterans from receiving the medication they desperately needed.”

Raley entered a drug treatment program offered by the VA in December shortly after being confronted about the thefts. He continues to attend drug rehab and is living in a clean-and-sober house that requires him to take random drug tests.

Raley wants to attend school to be a substance abuse counselor, McEntire said.

Chronic prescription forger arrested again

A Spokane woman arrested on prescription forgery charges six times in one year returned to jail again this week less than two weeks after pleading guilty to four felonies.

Theresia L. Beckett, 56, was out of jail on bond awaiting sentencing when she was arrested for the same thing she's been arrested for six other times since last June: forging a prescription and trying to pass it at a local pharmacy.

She was arrested Wednesday at Deaconess Pharmacy, 800 W. 5th Ave., for allegedly trying to collect on a forged prescription for Ambien.

Beckett earned the ire of Superior Court Judge Michael Price last month when she was arrested for the sixth time.

“I've seen Ms. Beckett time in and time out,” Price said at the time. “I'm certainly not trying to be gruff or rude to her, but…every time she bonds out, arguably, she just goes right back out and does it again, possibly within hours.”

Beckett's bond was set at $150,000 Thursday.

She's expected back in court for four no-bail warrants for the cases she's awaiting sentencing on. Her lawyer, Tim Note, told Price he was “speechless” over her latest arrest.

4 shot dead in NY pharmacy robbery

People line up to view and bring flowers and memorials Wednesday at outside Haven Drugs pharmacy in Medford, N.Y. Four people were shot to death there during a weekend painkiller robbery. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

By FRANK ELTMAN,Associated Press
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Two years ago, they posed for a wedding photo: Him beaming broadly in a dark suit, she a pudgy fresh-faced bride. They soon started a promising life together in the suburban New York home where he was raised.

Police mug shots of David Laffer and Melinda Brady released Thursday portrayed an altogether different couple: Gaunt, stone-faced suspects charged with a drug-store robbery and the killings of two pharmacy employees and two customers on Father's Day.

Laffer, 33, had two black eyes and bruises all over his face during his arraignment on first-degree murder charges, where a court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

 A police complaint says Laffer sustained the injuries when he grabbed for a police officer's weapon during a raid at his Medford home on Wednesday. He was tackled to the ground and placed in handcuffs, the complaint said.

Brady, 29, now many pounds lighter than her wedding photo, was being treated at a hospital for an undisclosed ailment, forcing authorities to temporarily postpone her arraignment. She is charged with robbery and obstructing governmental administration, although a prosecutor said Thursday that upgraded charges were likely.

Both were high on drugs when they were arrested, police said.

Read the rest of the AP story by clicking the link below.

Drug fraud suspect arrested 6x in 1 year

A Spokane woman arrested on felony prescription forgery charges six times in one year has been jailed on an usually high bond of $125,000.

Theresia L. Beckett, 56, has at least eight pending felony charges related to alleged prescription forgeries at Spokane pharmacies since last June.

Beckett was arrested June 16, July 20, Sept. 26, Oct. 14 and April 12 but was out of jail on $60,000 bond when she was arrested again Wednesday at a Walgreens in Spokane Valley.

Beckett is accused of forging a prescription for hydrocodone at the pharmacy, 15510 E. Sprague Ave. Deputies said she tried to flee the business before she was arrested.

Prosecutors asked Judge Michael Price to impose the extraordinarily high bond after Beckett's latest arrest.
Her lawyer, Tim Note, said he “understands the state's frustration.”

Price said the prosecutor's request was reasonable.

“I've seen Ms. Beckett time in and time out,” Price said. “I'm certainly not trying to be gruff or rude to her, but…every time she bonds out, arguably, she just goes right back out and does it again, possibly within hours. I have some real concerns for Ms. Beckett.”

Beckett was convicted of six counts of prescription fraud in 2008 and given two years of probation.

Prescription leads to arrest, not 90 pills

A forged prescription intended to garner 90 Hydrocodone pills instead led to the arrest of a 20-year-old Spokane Valley man on Thursday.

Employees at Walgreens, 2702 N. Argonne Road, suspected Robert G. Morey was handing them a forged prescription and called 911 after an employees confirmed the forgery by calling the doctor's office listed on the prescription, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said today.

Deputy Tom Edelbrock arrived just as Morey was receiving the medication and arrested him about 3:45 p.m. He believes Morey had been offered cash to obtain the pills.

Morey was booked into jail for felony possession of a controlled substance and is due in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon.

Raid reveals meth, cash, Hydrocodone

A Spokane man was arrested this morning with a half-ounce of methamphetamine, $5,000 and a quantity of Hydrocodone.

Gerald A. Oglesbee, 41, (pictured in 2007) was booked into Spokane County Jail on three counts of delivery of meth and one count of possession of meth with intent to deliver, according to a news release by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The Investigative Task Force says Oglesbee, 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, had video surveillance at his home at 1724 E. 1st Ave. when they arrived about 9 a.m.

The raid followed three undercover purchases of methamphetamine from the suspect, police said. Oglesbee’s previous convictions include burglary, bail jumping, assault and a firearms violation.

Also arrested at the home was Tianna R. Hurd, 28. She was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a previously issued civil bench warrant, according to a news release.

Church pastor popped for pilfering pills

A Spokane church pastor accused of stealing prescription medication from a parishioner left jail this weekend and was ordered to remain free pending trial after he appeared before a Superior Court judge today. 

Greg Scott Glover, 35, was arrested Friday after a Spokane Valley police detective hide in the victim’s home as Glover stole Hydrocodone pills, police said.

Glover, pastor of ConnectPoint Church, 1316 N. Lincoln, is to be arraigned Nov. 8 on two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He’ll partake in Superior Court’s early case resolution program, which is designed for suspects without substantial criminal records who are facing low-level felonies.

Glover, who was accompanied by his wife, declined comment, as did a group of businessmen who also declined to say if they were affiliated with the Christian church.

Detective Mark Fox arrested Glover at a ConnectPoint member’s North Park Road home in Spokane Valley. The woman, who had foot surgery and uses a wheelchair, told a Crime Check dispatcher on Oct. 1 that she suspected Glover had been stealing 45 to 60 Hydrocodone pills a month for about six months. A friend set up a video camera in the woman’s home and recorded Glover stealing pills Sept. 30.

Fox said he found 14 Hydrocodone pills when he arrested Glover on Friday - the exact amount of pills missing from the woman’s supply.

Police say Glover has stolen drugs from the woman on at least four prior occasions and may have other victims. Anyone who feels they may be a victim is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Doctor on trial for overprescribing

The second trial of a former Shoshone County doctor accused of overprescribing drugs is set to begin this week in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Christopher Arthur Christensen faces three counts of prescribing methadone, hydrocodone and/or alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug, “outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose” for incidents between Dec. 28, 2000 and Jan. 12, 2001.

Christensen had been indicted on additional counts relating to the care of at least five patients, including a Mullan, Idaho man who died in February 2001 after taking a mixture of methadone and alprazolam.

A North Idaho jury acquitted Christensen on six counts in June after a federal trial but couldn’t reach a verdict on 12 counts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed all but the three counts Christensen faces at trial this week.

Federal prosecutors will call four witnesses, including the case investigator for Idaho State Police and a former employee of Christensen’s, according to a trial briefing filed last week.

Also expected to testify is ISP Detective Beth Bradbury, who posed as a patient visiting Christensen during the investigation, and Dr. Arthur Jordan, an experts on the drugs Christensen is accused of overprescribing.

Christensen’s attorney, David E. Dokken, of Lewiston, plans to call Dr. Jon Hillyer, of Bremerton, Wash., and former patients of Christensen’s.

“Certainly, the defendant in no way acted as a ‘pusher,’” according to a trial briefing prepared by Dokken. “…He was a thorough and competent doctor who passionately pursued his practice.”

Christensen had a practice in Victor, Mont, as of May 2009, but it’s unclear if it’s still open.

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