Two women charged with picking up dead friend’s painkillers

Posted Nov. 14, 2012, at 7:30 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 14, 2012, at 8:15 a.m.

RUMFORD, Maine — Two local women accused of picking up a prescription for a friend were arrested Sunday after the pharmacist learned the friend was dead, not ill as they had claimed, police said Tuesday.

Melissa Tidswell, 34, of Peru, and Jessica True, 36, of Rumford, were each charged with acquiring drugs by deception, Rumford police Capt. Daniel Garbarini said.

Tidswell was released on $1,000 unsecured bail; True on $1,200 unsecured bail. Both are to be arraigned on the felony charges Jan. 8 in Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris.

Garbarini said the pair acquired Duragesic (fentanyl) patches.

Fentanyl skin patches, according to the MedlinePlus website, are opiate (narcotic) analgesics used to relieve moderate to severe pain that can’t be treated with other pain medications. The patches can also cause serious to life-threatening breathing problems.

Garbarini said the women went to a pharmacy, which he declined to identify, on Saturday.

“There was a filled (prescription) awaiting pickup at the pharmacy, and they showed up to pick it up for their friend, who they said was sick,” Garbarini said. “Then, a short time later, the pharmacist learned the person they were there to pick up the (prescription) for had passed away several days prior.”

The pharmacist contacted Rumford police. Garbarini said an officer began an investigation, asking both women to come to the police station and speak with an officer. Afterward, they were arrested and charged.

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