Drug Enforcement Administration


Keith Martin (Acting), Special Agent in Charge

May 02, 2018

Contact: Brian McNeal

Phone Number: (571) 362-1498

14 Charged With Writing Fake Prescriptions To Make “Lean”

COLUMBUS, Ohio. - Law enforcement officials arrested 14 individuals today in Operation Purple Drank. The 14 were previously indicted by a federal grand jury on charges unsealed today of conspiring to distribute codeine-promethazine, obtaining controlled substances by fraud and illegally using DEA registration numbers.

Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Detroit Division and Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio announced the charges.

This investigation began when law enforcement officials with the Wooster Police Department, MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency in Wayne County and Parma Police Department identified multiple fictitious prescriptions.

In addition, the Warren County Drug Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and (ATF), State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Hocking County Major Crimes Unit and the Columbus, Dublin and Gahanna police departments also investigated this case.

According to the indictment, from January 2016 until February 2017, the co-conspirators allegedly created a significant number of fraudulent and forged prescriptions for codeine-promethazine syrup. It is also alleged that individuals were recruited to travel from Columbus, Ohio to various pharmacies in Ohio to fill the fake prescriptions.

Those charged include:

The 17-count indictment includes 13 counts of obtaining substances by fraud. It also includes use of a fictitious DEA registration number and use of another’s DEA registration number.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation of this case by federal, state and local law enforcement, including the assistance of more than 25 police departments statewide, as well as Assistant United States Attorney David J. Bosley who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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