Woman suspect in Doctor Shopping for Oxycodone, Lorazepam and Hydrocodone

Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release

During November 2017, Detectives from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit received a tip from an astute doctor in Ventura County about a female patient named 49 year old Calabasas resident, Jennifer Williams. The information received from this doctor indicated Williams was visiting numerous physicians throughout Southern California to fraudulently obtain controlled substances. An investigation was conducted which revealed Williams had visited 80 doctors during the past year from Orange County to Santa Barbara County. During those visits, Williams obtained about 3600 dosage units of Schedule II pain killers (Oxycodone and Hydrocodone) and 1100 dosage units of Schedule IV drugs such as Lorazepam. In Ventura County alone, Williams visited 25 different doctors from Simi Valley to Ojai.

On January 24th, 2018, Detectives detained Williams outside an Urgent Care in Thousand Oaks, and located paperwork from numerous other doctors that had recently prescribed her Schedule II medications.

Williams was arrested and booked into custody at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Main Jail facility for 11173(a) H&S –Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. This section is also commonly referred to as “Doctor Shopping.”

On January 26th, 2018, this case was forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for review. The District Attorney’s office elected to file 11 counts of 11173(a) H&S.

The Ventura County doctor in this case alerted law enforcement after accessing Williams’ prescription history using the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). CURES is a database which tracks dispensed controlled substance medications like the ones mentioned in this release. Use of CURES by physicians has been shown to decrease the amount of prescriptions written which directly translates to fewer instances of abuse, overdose, and death from both prescription drugs and even heroin. Unfortunately, not enough doctors currently utilize this database.

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Thousand Oaks Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Ventura Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services. The primary mission of the task force is combating the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdoses due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use.

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