WATERVILLE, Maine — Three people from central Maine were arrested and another person was summoned after an investigation of forged prescriptions filled at area pharmacies, police said Wednesday.
The three-week investigation started when Lindsay Hoak, 23, of Benton allegedly stole a prescription pad from MaineGeneral Hospital, where she is employed, according to Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.
Rumsey believes the theft of the prescription pad occurred on or around Jan. 8, and Hoak was allegedly forging prescriptions over a three-week timeframe that were filled at pharmacies in Waterville, Winslow and Fairfield.
During the three-week period, the prescribed drugs were allegedly picked up by Cody Emerson, 22, of Winslow; Mitchel MacArthur, 23, of Fairfield and Katie Smith, 22, of Waterville, Rumsey said.
“They were the ones who were going into the store and picking up the prescriptions,” Rumsey said.
The investigation reached a major breakthrough on Tuesday afternoon when police observed Emerson conducting a drug transaction in the Concourse shopping center while Hoak waited in a vehicle, according to Rumsey.
After Emerson sold two oxycodone pills to another man, Emerson got into Hoak’s car and they drove off, but the duo was pulled over shortly after, the deputy chief said.
Upon searching Hoak’s car, three blank prescriptions were found, and both she and Emerson were arrested and charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class A felony due to the fact the transaction occurred within 1,000 feet of a safe zone, Rumsey said.
Waterville detectives also knew MacArthur was involved by reviewing video surveillance footage from the pharmacies, Rumsey said. MacArthur was contacted by police in Fairfield, and he turned himself into Waterville police Tuesday.
Hoak’s other charges include theft, acquiring drugs by deception and 10 forgery charges, while Emerson was also charged with unlawful possession of oxycodone and possession of drug paraphernalia.
MacArthur is facing five charges of acquiring drugs by deception, while Smith, who was not arrested, is accused of one count of acquiring drugs by deception.
Rumsey said the suspects filled approximately 15 prescriptions at the pharmacies in Waterville, Winslow and Fairfield. Additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.
Waterville police Det. Galen Estes was assisted by police in Waterville, Fairfield and Maine Drug Enforcement agents in the investigation, Rumsey said.
“Chief [Joe] Massey and I feel like they did an outstanding job of putting together legwork for this case and getting these people,” Rumsey said.
All four suspects are due in court March 26. Hoak, Emerson and MacArthur are being held at the Kennebec County Jail.