Franconia Police Relaunch Prescription Drug Fraud Team
Team will operate until early June
Franconia District Station police are relaunching a prescription drug fraud task force, after a previous team found success in prosecuting offenders.
Officer Donna Shaw, a member of the team, said at a Wednesday Citizen Advisory Commitee meeting that prescription drug fraud is not new in the area, but that it has recently increased.
The five-member team will operate from April 9 until June 6. The previous team ran from February 14 of this year until March 11, and handled 50 cases, 46 of which were closed by identifying an alleged culprit.
According to Shaw, people hoping to perpetrate prescription fraud to obtain painkillers will impersonate a doctor, tamper with a legitimate prescription, create a prescription, or commit other forms of fraud to get access to the drugs.
Franconia Station Detective Middlebrooks, a member of the task force, said that one difficulty the task force faces is that few pharmacies will report suspected prescription fraud to the police, even if they refuse to distribute the drugs.
"[Prescription fraudsters] will keep going to a pharmacy until someone say they're good," Middlebrooks said.
Middlebrooks said that prescription drug addicts pose a danger to the larger community because they need cash to pay for the drugs.
"They're going to get their pills, and they're going to get them one way or the other," Middlebrooks said.
Officers at the Franconia Station decided to start focusing on prescription drug fraud after a January robbery of a Lorton pharmacy for OxyCodone.