Two charged with illegally obtaining prescription drugs

Sarah Willets Staff writer

January 6, 2014

LUMBERTON — Two Robeson County women have been arrested for posing as health care professionals to illegally obtain prescription drugs, according to the Lumberton Police Department. Their cases are unrelated.

Candice Marie Powers, 30, who lives on Highland Avenue in Lumberton, was arrested on Dec. 20 after calling in several prescriptions while claiming she was a nurse at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, according to Detective Luke Humphrey, with the Drug Enforcement Unit. She was successful in getting medications from Walgreens on Fayetteville Road and Drugs America on East 24th Street, according to Humphrey.

Powers is charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, six counts of identity theft, five counts of possession of schedule 4 controlled substances, obtaining property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument, according to a statement from police Capt. Danny Parker.

She was also charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, possession of schedule 4 controlled substance, two counts of identify theft, attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud and attempting to possess a schedule 4 controlled substance for actions on Dec. 2.

According to Humphrey, Powers attempted to pay for some of the medications using forged checks linked to a closed bank account. Humphrey said Powers had the account holder’s ID.

On Dec. 2, Powers called the hospital and tried to fill a prescription for Xanax, which is used to treat anxiety. According to Humphrey, employees at the hospital pharmacy realized it was a fraudulent prescription because the prescribing doctor she listed was not working that day. Powers also tried to fill a prescription at Walmart on Fayetteville Road that day but never went to pick it up, Humphrey said.

On Dec. 13, Powers again tried to fill a prescription at Walmart as well as Walgreens. According to Humphrey, Walgreens’ pharmacy did not have enough pills to fill her order for 90 dosage units and only gave her five dosage units. Before she returned to pick up the rest, they discovered her order was fraudulent and reported the crime.

Five days later, she filled a prescription with Drugs America. On Dec. 20, Powers arrived at CVS on Fayetteville Road to pick up an order she had called in and employees notified the police, Humphrey said.

Powers was freed under $90,000 bond.

Earlier last month, Lumberton police arrested Bonita Britt, of Creek Road in Orrum, on similar charges.

Britt, 53, was arrested on Dec. 3, the same day she called in a fake prescription to Walgreens on Fayetteville Road. She is charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and trafficking in opiates, according to Parker.

According to Humphrey, Britt claimed she worked at a local doctor’s office when she called in the prescription. Britt attempted to get 14 dosage units of levoflaxacin, an antibiotic, and 90 dosage units of hydrocodone, an opiate used to treat pain.

Britt received the trafficking charge because of the quantity of pills she tried to obtain, not because she tried to sell them. According to Humphrey, Britt tried to get 28 grams of hydrocodone, which carries a minimum prison term of 18 years and nine months and a fine of at least $500,000 in North Carolina.

Britt’s $50,000 was posted. The Robeson County Detention Center did not have a photo of Britt.

Anyone with information on prescription fraud in Lumberton should call Humphrey at 910-671-3845.