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Doctor's secretary arrested in prescription forgery

MIDVALE — A woman who worked as a secretary at a local doctor's office was arrested by Midvale police for allegedly approving prescriptions for painkillers.

The 23-year-old woman was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday for investigation of 30 counts of prescription forgery, four counts of possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute and misdemeanor drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges.

A 26-year-old man was also arrested and booked into jail for investigation of drug and drug paraphernalia possession.

The woman worked at a doctor's office for about a year ending in May, said Midvale police detective Scott Nesbitt. Because the investigation was ongoing and more arrests were expected, Nesbitt did not disclose Thursday which doctor's office the woman worked at, only saying it was in the Salt Lake Valley.

The woman allegedly called in prescriptions for Lortab for four people to about a half-dozen pharmacies across the county, Nesbitt said. She was believed to have fraudulently called in about 70 prescriptions for those four, collecting an estimated 4,200 pills, he said.

"The pharmacy would type it up, fax it to the doctor to get approved, she would intercept the fax and tell the pharmacy it was OK," Nesbitt said.

It was unknown Thursday if the four people allegedly receiving the pills were dealers or used them for themselves. The woman's motivation for allegedly committing the crimes was also not known.

Midvale police were eventually led to the woman after one pharmacist noticed a lot of prescriptions were being filled to the same person.

"He called the doctor and the doctor said he didn't know who that was and called police," Nesbitt said.

Because the case was still an active investigation Nesbitt said he could release few details Thursday.