AG Announces Break-Up of Northampton County Pre scri ption Drug Ring

 

ALLENTOWN – Fifteen suspected drug dealers and users were charged by the Attorney General’s Office with passing fraudulent pre scri ptions, illegally distributing Percocet and exchanging heroin for pre scri ption drugs.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation, known as “Operation Bad scri pts,” began in January 2008 and focused on the illegal pre scri ption distribution ring of Melinda Miller, 26, Bangor, Northampton County.

Evidence and testimony regarding the case was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

Corbett said that the investigation began when an Easton pharmacist contacted agents regarding two fraudulent Percocet pre scri ptions from a Philipsburg, New Jersey dentist, with distinctively different signatures.

According to the grand jury, Miller was a receptionist at the Philipsburg dental office at the time the fraudulent pre scri ptions were discovered.

Grand jury testimony revealed that the dentist rarely prescribed Percocet pills and that 27 out of the 33 patients listed under his name as having received Percocet were not issued legitimate pre scri ptions.

Corbett said that the pre scri ptions Miller allegedly forged were always in the amount of 30 pills and were passed to pharmacies between Oct. 15, 2007 and Jan. 14, 2008.

The grand jury found that Miller used her own identity and the identities of others to acquire Percocet pills from various pharmacies in the Easton area.

Corbett said that Donald Smith and James Bruneio introduced Miller to local drug users, who either bought forged pre scri ptions for $60 to $100 apiece or filled Percocet scri pts for Miller.

According to agents, the individuals who filled pre scri ptions for Miller were given bags of heroin. Miller then allegedly sold the filled Percocet pre scri ptions in order to buy more heroin for herself.

“Heroin use in the Lehigh Valley is a serious problem,” Corbett said. “Especially in Northampton County, where there are some addicts who use 20 to 30 bags a day.”

“This case combines the deadly addictions of heroin and pre scri ption drugs into a vicious cycle of illegal distribution throughout the Lehigh Valley,” Corbett said.

Corbett noted that this is part of a continuing investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Northampton County by Deputy Attorney General Amy Phillips of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force.

A full list of the defendants and the charges against them is below.

–Melinda Miller, 26, Bangor, is charged with 34 counts of forgery, 12 counts of possession, 10 counts of possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–James Bruneio, 21, currently incarcerated in Northampton County Prison, is charged with four counts of possession, three counts of possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Donald Smith, 30, Easton, is charged with two counts of possession, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Ezra Poff, 27, Easton, is charged with one count each of possession and criminal conspiracy.

–Michael Graziano, 19, Easton, is charged with seven counts of possession, three counts of possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–William Moulton, 23, currently incarcerated in Northampton County Prison, is charged with two counts of possession, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Ricardo Cabrera, 24, Easton, is charged with one count of possession and one count of criminal conspiracy.

–Kyle Lynn, 19, currently incarcerated in Northampton County Prison, is charged with one count of possession and one count of criminal conspiracy.

–Kyle Bonatz, 22, Easton, is charged with one count of possession.

–Melissa Anderson, 25, Riegelsville, Bucks County, is charged with one count of possession and one count of criminal conspiracy.

–Travis Lippincott, 24, Riegelsville, Bucks County, is charged with one count of possession and one count of criminal conspiracy.

–Michael Christopher, 19, Easton, is charged with five counts of possession, one count of possession with the intent to deliver, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Stefanie Gresiak, 44, Easton, is charged with two counts of possession, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Sean Handlovic, 19, Lock Haven, Clinton County, is charged with six counts of possession and one count of corrupt organizations.

–Keith Jumper, 19, Easton, is charged with one count of possession and one count of criminal conspiracy.

 

 

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