CNS – Seven people were arrested on suspicion of being part of a drug-trafficking ring in Pomona that stole the identities of doctors to gain access to addictive drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, Attorney General Jerry
Brown announced last Friday. The suspects, arrested September 25, allegedly used fraudulent prescriptions to get more than 11,000 pills. Agents with the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement arrested the alleged ringleader, Ricky Washington, along with Josalyn Morales, Beverly Carter, Richard West, Danesha Bentley, Natassha Diaz, and Phylicia Mitchell.
The suspects allegedly stole the identities of eight doctors, as well as dozens of unwitting people whom they designated as “patients” in order to get the pills.
“Prescription drug fraud is becoming a street crime problem and is growing more and more prevalent in California,” Brown said in a statement.
“What we’re finding now is that it’s no longer individual addicts obtaining a few prescription drugs,” Brown said.
“There are dangerous criminals running these underground organizations.”
The suspects face possible charges including transportation of a controlled substance, possession for sale of a controlled substance, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and conspiracy. The investigation began in August, 2007, when authorities focused their attention on Washington, who had previous drug-trafficking arrests, according to the Attorney General’s Office.