This country is in a very public war on drugs. While attempting to remove drugs — including illegal prescription drugs — from the streets may be a noble cause, the public nature of the so-called war could lead to overzealous officers and prosecutors mistakenly making unfounded charges in an effort to show progress. Unfortunately, several firefighters are now caught up in the war after one man was allegedly participating in prescription fraud in Maryland.
Police say a lieutenant in the fire department attempted to fill a fake prescription in a Maryland pharmacy in March. Reports claim that the lieutenant had several fraudulent prescriptions and empty prescription bottles in his possession at the time. This prompted investigators to search his computer and phone.
As a result of the search, police reportedly discovered a prescription drug ring involving six other firefighters. While the charges against the original firefighter were previously dropped based on documents he provided, prosecutors now say that the documents were fake. He denies this claim, but more charges may be pending.
The quest to remove illegal drugs from the street is understandable. At the same time, it is important that the rights of those suspected of being involved are not trampled in the process. As a result of the prescription fraud allegations sparked by a reported incident in a Maryland pharmacy, this man will surely want to ensure that he is being fairly treated and that any evidence obtained — such as through the search of his phone and computer — was not in violation of the rights under state and federal laws.
Source: myfoxdc.com, “DC firefighters under investigation for distribution of narcotic”, Paul Wagner, Dec. 9, 2014