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Mangano, Dale Announce Success Of Narcotics Sweep

17 Arrests Made for Forged Prescriptions; Number of Opiate Arrests Triples

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Police Commissioner Thomas Dale announced today the success of a sweep conducted by the Nassau County Police Department’s Narcotics Squad that resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals for forging prescriptions at various pharmacies throughout the County. Additionally, Enhanced Community Watch – a new joint initiative involving Nassau County police officers and probation officers - resulted in the arrest of three probationers: two for illegal possession of prescription drugs without prescriptions and one on a violation of probation warrant for using Heroin.

“From police to probation, Nassau County is combating the prescription drug epidemic,” said County Executive Mangano. “Nassau County has taken the lead by implementing safety, awareness and educational initiatives for the public as well as local pharmacists. We will continue to work together with all levels of government and law enforcement to address and solve this crisis.”

Eight of the individuals arrested had attempted to fill forged prescriptions to obtain painkillers at CVS in Hicksville. In one of those cases, a woman posed as a doctor or nurse practitioner on seven different occasions and called in prescriptions for patients whose identity she had stolen. The individual then appeared at the pharmacy as the patient and purchased the drugs using the women's stolen medical insurance plan.

Another individual allegedly stole a prescription pad from a doctor and wrote several prescriptions for Promethazine with Codeine. The other arrests were for individuals attempting to fill forged prescriptions at independent pharmacies.

Arrests in Nassau County for forging opiate drug prescriptions have quadrupled this year; from four such arrests in Nassau County at this time last year, to the 17 arrested this year.

The number of arrests for Opiate possession and distribution more than tripled between 2010 and 2011. In 2009, Nassau police made 32 fraudulent prescription arrests and 388 heroin arrests. In 2010, there were 48 fraudulent prescription arrests; 418 heroin arrests and 127 opiate arrests in the County. And in 2011, there were 33 arrests for prescription fraud; 227 heroin arrests and nearly double the arrests, 432, for opiates.

The Enhanced Community Watch program was launched in January 2012 and aimed at significantly reducing the time between a probationer testing positive for opiates or cocaine and being visited at his or her home by officers. In the last month, teams of probation and police officers have visited the homes of 44 probationers across Nassau, often within days of the probationer testing positive for opiates.