Henrico Police are building a case against 26-year-old Olga Paulette. She's been released on her own recognizance.
Right now, she's facing charges of obtaining drugs by fraud, which is a felony, but police say she may be facing even more charges.
Officers say they also searched Paulette's car and that evidence could bring more charges. But what also stands out about this case, according to police, is that she may have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for a pharmacy employee.
The Kroger at Willow Lawn is almost two hours away from Paulette's home in Alexandria. But police say the 26-year-old drove here, trying to buy medication with photocopies of a prescription.
Detectives say it was a pharmacy employee who noticed the fake.
"Walking in with a photocopy prescription, a big bell goes off, it's a big red signal," says Dennis Stanley, who is pharmacy wellness manager at the Martin's store in Short Pump and also belongs to the Virginia Pharmacists Association. He calls fake prescriptions an issue people in his field must tackle all the time.
"We look for inconsistencies," he said. "You know, inks and signatures. We know what a physician's signature looks like. If you can't sign it like a physician's going to sign it, don't bother."
Police are not yet releasing what types of drugs they say Paulette tried to get. But Stanley says most people handing in the fake prescriptions go for controlled substances like hydrocodone and oxycodone.
All drugs that can be deadly.
"They don't have to be real high doses, but excessive over what the norm is," says Stanley. "[The drugs] depresses respiration, depresses heart rate. If you take enough, it depresses it to the point where it stops."
He says when people ask for those drugs pharmacists will take an even closer look. In Paulette's case, police believe that type of scrutiny by the pharmacy employee stopped her from targeting someone else.
"If it had not been an employee who didn't think something looked suspicious we would not have been able to place these charges," says Lt. Linda Toney with Henrico Police.
Stanley says pharmacists are glad to help police, but he says they lose out as well having to skip work to go to court dates. Paulette's next court date is January 22 in Henrico General District.
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