Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces the Arrests of 15 Accused of Forging Oxycontin Prescriptions

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 24, 2009  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) today announced the arrests of 15 suspects on charges related to the forgery of Oxycontin prescriptions in Central and Eastern Kentucky. A total of 19 individuals were indicted last month by a Fayette County grand jury in connection with the alleged forgery of prescriptions from Hazard to Lexington. The indictments followed a year-long investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, with assistance from the Office of Inspector General.

Kentucky State Police and Operation Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education (UNITE) assisted in making the arrests over three days earlier this month.

"I appreciate the hard work of my investigators and our law enforcement partners involved in this case," said General Conway. "Working together we can better combat the scourge of prescription pill abuse in Kentucky."

As part of this investigation, suspects were arrested in Fayette, Madison, Letcher and Perry counties. All face charges of possession of a forged prescription and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud for allegedly possessing or filling prescriptions of Oxycontin on stolen prescription blanks. Investigators report the drugs were obtained in Central and Eastern Kentucky over the course of a year. All of the charges are Class D felonies and carry penalties of between one and five years in prison. Additional charges were filed against the suspects by the Commonwealth’s Attorneys in Perry and Laurel counties.

Arrested as part of the Attorney General’s investigation were:

Fayette County Detention Center:

  • Chad Michael Fugate, 30
  • Curtis Venters, 37
  • Keith Adam Alcorn, 38

Madison County Detention Center:

  • Robert Bentley, 42
  • Diane Bentley, 37

Letcher County Detention Center:

  • Candi Hughes, 29

Perry County Detention Center:

  • Albert Brewer, 47
  • Shelby Ritchie, 35
  • Marvin Henson, 38
  • Melissa J. Smith, 42
  • Allen Smith, 42
  • Robert Taulbee, 44
  • Christopher B. Rowland, 35
  • Vaughn A. Brock, 48
  • Gregory Hudson, 44

Additional arrests are pending.

Last month, General Conway’s Prescription Drug Diversion Task Force participated in the largest drug sweep operation in Kentucky’s history along with Kentucky State Police, the FBI, Operation UNITE and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, among other agencies. More than 300 people were arrested over two days in 34 Kentucky counties. The OAG Prescription Drug Diversion Task Force is Kentucky’s only statewide task force devoted to investigating prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth.

A charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.