Pharmacy tech arrested over pain pills -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pharmacy tech arrested over pain pills


 A pharmacy technician in Ocilla is charged with forging prescriptions and stealing thousands of pain pills. Tabatha Fender worked as a Pharmacy Technician at Fred's pharmacy in Ocilla. But drug agents say it was the work she was doing on the side that got her in serious trouble.

"She was basically writing forged prescriptions and using the public's information. People that go to Fred's," said Agent Eugene Paulk of the South Central Drug Task Force.

Agents with the south Central Drug Task Force in Fitzgerald looked into irregularities in the number of prescriptions being written for the pain medication hydrocodone. Their investigation indicated that prescriptions were being forged by Fender and that it may have gone for more than a year.

"Probably around 120 prescriptions or more. 180 pills at a time," said Paulk. Agents arrested Fender in August. She was arrested again this month on additional forgery counts as more customers came forward after their prescriptions were denied because they had already been filled-- by Fender and for Fender.

"People that actually needed them, people with health problems were put on hold until I could get this straightened out, and they could start getting their medicine," Paulk said.

Tabatha Fender was released form the Irwin County Jail on $129,000 bond but faces dozens of felony forgery and identity theft charges. Agents say the pain medication abuse is becoming an epidemic-- one they're committed to stopping.

Agents say there could be more customers out there who are still unaware their prescription information may have been compromised. We reached out to Fred's Pharmacy corporate office for comment on the matter, but have not heard back from them.


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