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2 women separately charged with forging prescription slips

Posted: February 25, 2012 - 7:58pm

A 28-year-old woman has been charged with allegedly forging more than 40 prescription slips to obtain oxycodone tablets.

Charges against Shannon Lee Auldridge include scheme to defraud, 41 counts of second-degree forgery, second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and 41 counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.  

The scheme to defraud charge, a class B felony with an imposable sentence of no more than 10 years, alleges Auldridge forged prescriptions using the name of a Central Peninsula Hospital family practice physician, Gonzalo Araoz-Fraser. 

Using the forged prescriptions between August 2010 and May 2011, Auldridge obtained tablets from Safeway in Kenai and Soldotna, Three Bears, Fred Meyer and Walmart, according to a Feb. 17 indictment. 

The 41 second-degree forgery charges, class C felonies, specify dates and locations on which the defendant used forged prescriptions to obtain 180 oxycodone tablets, according to the indictment. 

The remaining grand jury charges stem from Auldridge allegedly possessing a controlled substance illegally.

Soldotna Police Officer David Bower and Dr. Araoz-Fraser are listed on the indictment as witnesses examined before a grand jury. 

Araoz-Fraser did not return a call for comment Friday afternoon. It could not be confirmed if Auldridge was the physician’s patient. 

Auldridge has no criminal record in Alaska except two minor traffic violations in 1999. 

Arraignment is set for Tuesday at the Kenai Courthouse. 

A similar indictment with fewer charges recently was imposed on a Homer woman of the same age. 

On Feb. 15, Kenai police received a report from the office of Dr. Michael Merrick in Kenai of possible prescription fraud from a local physician. 

Investigation led to the arrest of Sara L. Brooks, 28, of Homer, on two counts of second-degree theft, three counts of second-degree forgery, five counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and one count of fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. 

Merrick’s office manager provided an officer with copies of three prescriptions dated Feb. 10 for Brooks supposedly signed by the family physician for valium and Suboxone. The office manager explained Merrick did not write the prescriptions, and the handwriting did not match with anyone in the office. The third prescription was written by Merrick, but the number of pills prescribed was altered from 10 to 60, according to court records. 

Later, Merrick confirmed he did not write two of the prescriptions, according to court records. 

Brooks allegedly visited Merrick’s office on Feb. 10 complaining of a pelvic infection. After an examination, it was determined Brooks’ health was normal. Merrick said Brooks knew where the prescription pads were located, on the counter or in a drawer in the patient’s room, according to court records. 

Brooks is currently on felony probation for second-degree forgery. The 2010 case was reopened following the new indictment. She has no criminal record except minor charges. 

Brooks remains at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 5 at the Kenai Courthouse. 

 

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cbeard
132
Points
cbeard 02/26/12 - 02:06 pm
0
0
Not surprising

People all over the Peninsula know that Araoz-Fraser's office is the place for pill-poppers and methheads to get fast and loose prescriptions anyways.

Whether or not the doctor is intentionally involved is up for courts to decide, not for public hearsay, but it is worth cautioning people against going to that particular practice or getting involved with it.

msjinxie
110
Points
msjinxie 02/26/12 - 09:30 pm
0
0
Prescription Fraud

As a person who unfortunately has no other answer to my pain and debilitating condition, other than LEGAL prescription meds, when this stuff happens, it puts us ALL a step backward. Its not just "pill poppers" guys. It is and will directly affect you, the next time God Forbid you have to be on pain meds longer than a month good luck! You will see then, and only then, what a normal person, who is NOT addicted or taking these pills for fun, has to go through just to live their lives.

Make examples of these people, and hit them HARD. As a patient, that FOLLOWS my physician instructions, I am SICK of jumping thru the hoops to keep the wrong idiots from abusing it. ENOUGH! The physicians need to throw all of them to the cops and say have at it......We keep slapping them on the wrist it will continue to occur. PERIOD.

msjinxie
110
Points
msjinxie 02/26/12 - 09:30 pm
0
0
Prescription Fraud

As a person who unfortunately has no other answer to my pain and debilitating condition, other than LEGAL prescription meds, when this stuff happens, it puts us ALL a step backward. Its not just "pill poppers" guys. It is and will directly affect you, the next time God Forbid you have to be on pain meds longer than a month good luck! You will see then, and only then, what a normal person, who is NOT addicted or taking these pills for fun, has to go through just to live their lives.

Make examples of these people, and hit them HARD. As a patient, that FOLLOWS my physician instructions, I am SICK of jumping thru the hoops to keep the wrong idiots from abusing it. ENOUGH! The physicians need to throw all of them to the cops and say have at it......We keep slapping them on the wrist it will continue to occur. PERIOD.

jlmh
343
Points
jlmh 02/26/12 - 10:49 pm
0
0
What prompted the crime?

A lot of these "pill poppers" start out with legitimate prescriptions and become addicted. A lot of physicians are refusing to prescribe them for long-term pain management any more. It isn't clear whether Ms. Auldridge was initially abusing them or if she developed a dependency and took matters into her own hands. I would suspect the latter, since she managed 41 counts of forgery/misconduct before they caught her. Presumably they would have noticed the forgery immediately if she had not established a legitimate routine at these pharmacies in the first place. Don't they call the physician's office each time a prescription is filled to confirm it?

LrpPhg
0
Points
LrpPhg 02/27/12 - 10:08 am
0
0
Not "popping" them

In my opinion, these women didn't forge these prescriptions because they were addicts. Yes, this community like every community has a problem with substance abuse in many forms. But where do you think the Oxycontin tablets come from that are sold on the street? They are sold to addicts by people who possibly at some point in their lives legitimately needed the medication, but figured out that there is a whole lot of money to be made selling prescription drugs. It's a full time job for some of these people. And they are good at what they do. They "doctor shop" and "pharmacy hop" their way up and down the peninsula paying cash usually for their prescriptions so it's very difficult to track sometimes. I worked in retail pharmacy for years and I've seen it all. Sometimes the most unlikely customers are the ones that will pick up their prescription for their pain medication and turn around 5 minutes later and sell them out in the parking lot in front of the store.

cbeard
132
Points
cbeard 02/27/12 - 10:25 am
0
0
Huh?

It doesn't matter if they were taking them or selling them, they're still abusing prescription drugs and there are a handful of doctors on the Peninsula who "turn a blind eye" to such activities because more appointments means more funding.

LrpPhg
0
Points
LrpPhg 02/27/12 - 10:58 am
0
0
Agreed.

Agreed.

aspiecelia
109
Points
aspiecelia 03/01/12 - 07:44 pm
1
0
Think

If the women were writing the scripts to get the drugs for themselves they need help and sentencing them to felonies will keep them from being able to rehabilitate. If they were doing it to sell them, what kind of situation were they in? The main question I have is how does someone forge a prescription 41 times without being found out? What kind of system do they have in place to detect problems? I am used to pharmacies contacting doctors to verify each prescription for highly addicting substances. An addict is unable to stop and is desperate, catching the problem early helps everyone, especially them.

jlmh
343
Points
jlmh 03/02/12 - 09:46 pm
0
0
I wondered the exact same

I wondered the exact same thing, aspiecelia. How can she do this 41 times, spanning nine months and five pharmacies? Are pharmacies that careless, or did she have an accomplice at some doctor's office?

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