By Sam Poe
Friday, January 17, 2014 | 5:00 AM
The Winston County Sheriff's Department recently busted a ring of fraudulent prescriptions that were being passed to pharmacies in Haleyville, as well as in several other surrounding counties. These arrests were made in collaboration with the ABC Narcotics Board and the Arley Police Department.
Michael Chad Corkren, County Road 30, Haleyville, (pictured left) was arrested January 11, 2014, for Trafficking of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Forged Instruments. Additional charges are expected in the coming days. Wesley Gilbert was also arrested on similar charges in this case.
The Winston County Sheriff's Department became aware of this issue when information was presented to them after another arrest. When the WCSD followed up on the allegations, they discovered that the individuals listed on these prescriptions were not patients of the doctors named on the prescriptions. Officers then contacted physicians' offices and pharmacies to make them aware of the forgeries. The WCSD asked all pharmacies in Haleyville to verify these types of prescriptions before filling them. Once the pharmacies began refusing to fill the prescriptions without verification, the suspects began moving more toward the Shoals and Decatur areas with higher traffic in the pharmacies to avoid suspicion.
The prescriptions in these crimes were forged using about ten different doctors and their corresponding DEA codes. None of these physicians were located in Haleyville. Most of the prescriptions were written for Xanax, Oxycodone, Sudafed, and various antibiotics. This crime spree appears to have started in August 2013, and the major break in the case came in December. This is still an open federal investigation.