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Special Report: Prescription Drug Abuse Part III

Updated: Wednesday, November 13 2013, 09:47 PM EST
Special Report: Prescription Drug Abuse Part III story image
45 in one bottle, 45 in another, but the last month they cheated him so I always count em,

is a transcription of an undercover Waynesville officer talking with a
prescription pill dealer getting ready to sell him pills.

Youve got percocet, vicodin, fentanyl patches, said Detective Tyler Trantham with Waynesville police department.

Trantham has worked hundreds of drug cases but in recent years has
focused his energies on trying to knock down the illegal prescription
pill epidemic around Waynesville.

They're being handed out on the street like candy, said Trantham.

In 2010 and 2011 Trantham said prescription dealers would take marathon drives down to Florida to  stock up at pill mills and

here to the mountains with large quantities of prescription pills to
sell, said Trantham. 200,300, 400 sometimes a thousand pills.

39-year-old Jerry Cooper from Florida came to Waynesville to set up his pill operation at a local hotel.

He said this was a huge community and market area for him, said Trantham. He knew he could come here and make money.

has since cracked down on their pill mill epidemic, but drugs in the
mountains remain in ready supply said Trantham. The detective said he
knows patients locally regularly commit Medicaid fraud. Trantham said
using their three or four dollar co-pay they can get prescriptions
filled and illegally sell the pills to dealers.

They turn around
and they're making 5,6,7 maybe a thousand dollars off of it, they're
supplementing their income on that one prescription that they have, said

The detective showed New 13 more than ten mug shots of
men and women arrested around Waynesville for illegally selling
prescription pills since 2010. But the case involving mom Heather Lacey
ended with the death of her 3-year-old daughter Adriana.

received a 911 call early in the morning, said Bill Hollingsed,
Waynesvilles police chief. There were numerous people in the house who
were in different states of inebriation. The little girl was
non-responsive on the floor.

Adriana died from an overdose.

was revealed the mother had been using opiate drugs as a means to put
the little girl to sleep so she could party with her friends, said Chief

Lacey pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter for her daughter's death. She served 18 months in jail..

Chief Hollingsed keeps a photo of Adrianna on his desk. Everyone on the force in Waynesville seems to remember the case.

a picture I have of her with angel wings and that's the picture I like
to remember, not the autopsy pictures, said Hollingsed.

become very passionate to try and educate the public, to educate the
community to try to stop prescription drug abuse and addiction that
occurs from overuse of these drugs, said Hollinsed.

Carolina has a prescription reporting system where doctors can see if
patients are pill shopping. But Chief Hollingsed said just one third of
doctors are registered.

Unfortunately, they say the numbers are
closer to 4 or 5% of doctors and prescribers that actually use that
database on a regular basis.

Its available but its not being utilized, said Detective Trantham. Its not mandatory for them to.

The chief says there's no question more must be done by North Carolina Legislators.

you see victim after victim, and talk to family members, said Chief
Hollingsed. You see children involved and addicts giving birth to babies
that are addicted to opiates, you just can't come into work and not try
to make a difference.Special Report: Prescription Drug Abuse Part III
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