2 women arrested for prescription drug fraud

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— Two women were arrested recently in a case involving 2,135 prescription pills fraudulently obtained through their work at a Craig-based doctor's office.

Amanda Brackett, 34, and Karrissa Ramsey, 25, were arrested on suspicion of fraud and deceit, a Class 5 felony, and conspiracy, also a Class 5 felony.

The All Crimes Enforcement Team, a local drug taskforce, handled the investigation.

Brackett turned herself in to authorities Nov. 26 in Steamboat Springs, ACET Taskforce Officer Ken Johnson said. Ramsey was arrested in Fort Collins last week while she was going to a meeting with her probation officer.

Johnson said it appears the women, who lived in Craig while working at the same local medical clinic, called in fraudulent prescriptions for each other to pick up at one or more local pharmacies.

The women are suspected of acquiring pills such as Vicodin, Xanax and Tylenol 3 with Codeine during seven to eight months. Johnson estimated the total street value of pills obtained at around $10,000.

Law enforcement still is investigating whether other people may have been involved in collecting the prescriptions, he added. It will be up to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office to file formal charges, which may include distribution of a controlled substance.

Johnson said it is not known whether the women obtained the pills to sell or for personal use.

Law enforcement first heard about the case after being tipped off by the doctor's office where the women worked. Other office members noticed something might be wrong through the Colorado Drug Monitoring Program, an online database that tracks people's names and their prescriptions.

The women were fired immediately, Johnson said, at which point Ramsey moved back to the Loveland area, where she is from originally.

Only those authorized to give medical prescriptions have access to the Drug Monitoring System, Johnson said, adding that law enforcement is not allowed access.

He also said that reporting information from the system does not violate a medical professional's legal obligations to confidentiality.

After being informed about a potential crime, ACET conducted an investigation separate from database information, Johnson said.

Both women are expected to be extradited to Moffat County for trial.

Their arrest warrants have been sealed because they include confidential information. Beckett is scheduled for a first advisement hearing at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 6. No court dates have been set for Ramsey.

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