Woman To Serve Two Years In Prescription Fraud Case

SNOW HILL – A local woman who provided phony prescription documents to an undercover Ocean City police narcotics agent as part of an elaborate scheme earlier this year pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to distributing painkillers and was sentenced to two years in jail.

On Feb. 8, an undercover OCPD narcotics agent made arrangements to purchase 15 pills of roxicodone, a derivative of the more familiar oxycodone, from a local woman later identified as Terri Lynn Russell, 41, of no fixed address. The deal was set up via cell phone and the officer met Russell at the appointed place and time near the 7-Eleven on 59th Street and purchased the illegal pills for $100.

When the officer asked Russell how she got the pills, she allegedly told him she simply wrote her own prescriptions. Russell told the undercover officer she could write a prescription for him and sell it to him for $400. The officer told Russell he was interested.

On March 19, the undercover officer contacted Russell again, this time inquiring about buying a prescription of his own. The deal was arranged and the officer again met Russell and purchased what appeared to be a real prescription note from a doctor.

When the officer asked Russell how she got the prescriptions, she allegedly told him she used to work for a doctor and pilfered blank prescription papers before she left. She said her sister made copies for her on the doctor’s stationery.

Russell reportedly went as far as putting the doctor’s alleged phone number on the phony prescriptions in case any pharmacy ever questioned them. However, the phone number of the documents was not really the doctor’s phone number. Instead, the number called a separate cell phone Russell had obtained and when the calls went to voice mail, the message said the caller had reached the doctor’s office and to leave a message or call 911 if it was an emergency.

Armed with the information about the phony prescription scheme, the officer eventually arrested Russell and charged her with forging prescriptions, two counts of issuing forged prescriptions and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute roxicodone and oxycodone.

Last week in Circuit Court, Russell pleaded guilty to the possession with intent to distribute charge and was sentenced to two years in jail. She was also ordered to participate in a state-sponsored drug treatment program. The other charges against her were not prosecuted.

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