News Release
April 5, 2007
Contact: Special Agent Dan Simmons,
Public Information Officer

Routine Cleaning: DEA Arrests Dental Office Manager
Defendant wrote herself 100 prescriptions in nine months from Encinitas, Calif.-based office

APR 5 -- (SAN DIEGO) On April 4th, 2007, DEA’s Diversion Control Group (DCG) arrested Colleen Anne Cullinan without incident at the San Marcos dental office where she is currently employed. Cullinan, formerly an office manager for an Encinitas-based dentist, is alleged to have utilized her former employer’s DEA registration number to fraudulently procure over 100 hydrocodone (“Vicodin”) prescriptions on her own behalf. Utilizing false names, it is alleged that Cullinan phoned in the prescriptions to over twenty separate pharmacies, paid cash and limited the amount of pills requested in each prescription in an effort to avoid detection.

Cullinan’s activities came to light after leaving the Encinitas dental office late last year. The Encinitas office learned of Cullinan’s fraudulent prescription activities after her employment at the office ended. At that time the DEA DCG was contacted. Cullinan was previously convicted in 1997 of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 11173 (Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud or Deceit).

Controlled substance abuse is one of the biggest challenges before DEA at this time. Additionally, Hydrocodone is the most widely abused Schedule III pharmaceutical controlled substance in the United States today. From young people taking part in “pharming parties” to medical professionals, no segment of society is immune to this epidemic.

Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Alan Poleszak stated, “As prescription pharmaceutical abuse grows, so too does the resolve of our Diversion Control Group to investigate and uncover the illicit activities which fuel this problem. Whether to feed one’s own addiction or profit from its sale, the wrongful procurement of prescription medicine will not be tolerated. The investigators and agents assigned to the DCG are committed to ensuring that only those people complying with the law are in possession of prescription drugs.”