Rockingham Police charge woman with getting fake prescriptions

By: By Gavin Stone - Staff Writer
Lunceford

ROCKINGHAM — An assistant in the medical field is accused of using her position to write fraudulent prescriptions for opioids and benzos following a year-long investigation.

Investigators with the Rockingham Police Department say 50-year-old Crystal Lunceford, of Rockingham, used her name, as well as five other individuals’ names, to write and obtain prescriptions for herself which netted approximately 2,010 oxycodone pills over a three-year period, according to a press release. Police said she also obtained 18 prescriptions over a two-year period for approximately 1,410 dosage units of Alprazolam — more commonly known as Xanax — while posing as an agent for the practitioner where she was a former patient.

Police are not releasing the name of her employer, nor the practitioner she claimed to be an agent of.

Lunceford was arrested Wednesday and is charged with 23 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery, six counts of trafficking in opiates and five counts of identity theft. She was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

Lunceford has no prior convictions in the state, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.

The investigation began when a tip came in to the RPD Drug Diversion Investigator from a local pharmacy. The Drug Diversion program began in 2016 and allows the department to work with local, state and federal authorities to prosecute individuals obtaining prescriptions through phony prescriptions, identity theft and the practice known as “doctor shopping.”

Investigators say there are no other arrests expected in this case.

Detective Lt. George Gillenwater estimated that at least 35 arrests have been made through the Drug Diversion program since its inception.

All suspects facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Lunceford
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By Gavin Stone

Staff Writer