ST. GEORGE – A California man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly using forged documents in an attempt to acquire prescription drugs at three separate area pharmacies.
The St. George Police Department was contacted by Lin’s Pharmacy on Wednesday concerning a man who had attempted to pass what was believed to be a false prescription order. The forged document had the name of a doctor located in New Hampshire who had an expired prescription license in Utah, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Detective Brandon Dunbar.
While responding to the incident at Lin’s Pharmacy, Dunbar was contacted by Stapley’s Pharmacy and told that a man had tried to use a forged prescription there as well. The New Hampshire doctor’s name was also attached to that forgery attempt. The man left the pharmacy before Dunbar’s arrival.
Dunbar collected statements and evidence from the pharmacies and proceeded to contact other pharmacies in St. George, as well as the New Hampshire doctor whose name was on the forgeries. The doctor told the detective he once practiced medicine in Salt Lake City, but never St. George, and did not have an office there.
“(The doctor) also informed me that he had not written any prescription for anyone in St. George,” Dunbar wrote in the statement.
Later that day, Rite Aid Pharmacy contacted the police and Dunbar learned a man was trying to pass a forged prescription there. Police responded to the scene and detained the man. Initially he gave police a fake name, but was subsequently identified as James Booker, 44, of Inglewood, California. Booker was described as having a fraudulent ID and a large amount of cash on him.
Booker was taken to the police station for questioning. According to the probable cause statement, he was read his rights and then waived them. He agreed to speak with Dunbar and admitted to going to the three pharmacies in an effort to acquire prescription medications.
In each instance, Booker tried to get a bottle filled with 150 tablets of oxycodone, according to Dunbar’s report.
Booker was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. According to court records, he has been charged with five third-degree felonies related to forged prescriptions for controlled substances, identity fraud, and possessing a forgery writing device, as well as a class-C misdemeanor for providing police with a false identity.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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