Suspect Arrested in Phony Prescription Scheme

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— A woman was arrested in the Walgreens parking lot late Friday night after allegedly picking up a phony prescription for Vicodin. Police are seeking other suspects in connection with this case, which has allegedly targeted a number of pharmacies in Illinois and Indiana.

On Friday, October 26, at 10:49 p.m., Corporal Sheets and Officer Elliot were dispatched to Walgreens, 15 South Orchard, in reference to the presentation of a fraudulent prescription.  Officers were advised by dispatch via radio that the suspect was in a black vehicle in the pharmacy drive-up.

On arrival, Corporal Sheets positioned his squad car on Orchard in order to monitor the Walgreens pharmacy drive-up.  Corporal Sheets observed a black Dodge Avenger at the pharmacy drive-up window.  Walgreens pharmacy then advised that the prescription had been delivered to the suspect in the vehicle, which was observed by Corporal Sheets.  The vehicle then pulled away from the drive-up window and turned northbound into the Walgreens parking lot.  Corporal Sheets executed a traffic stop on the vehicle, assisted by Officer Elliot.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Cynthia Gonzalez, 10838 Greenbay, Chicago, was placed under arrest and handcuffed pending further investigation. The Walgreens bag and its contents were also seized as evidence.  The contents were listed as a prescription for hydrocodone/APAP, also known as Vicodin.

According to the report, the pharmacy manager related that within the past two weeks, she had received numerous voice mail messages at the Walgreens pharmacy requesting a prescription filling for Vicodin from various females identifying themselves as employees of a local doctor’s office.  According to the manager’s notes, the names used by these females were Jill, Sandra, and Amber.

Earlier in the day, the manager contacted the doctor at his office.  The doctor advised there was no employee in his office by any of those names and that his office had received numerous phone calls regarding hydrocodone prescriptions recently that had not been prescribed.  The manager took a voicemail message that a prescription for 40 Vicodin pills be filled for a patient.  The caller identified herself as "Jill" and that she was calling from the same doctor’s office. 

When Gonzalez arrived at the Walgreens pharmacy drive-up requesting the above prescription, the pharmacy manager immediately called the police.

The vehicle Gonzalez was driving was towed and administratively seized.

Gonzalez was then transported to the Park Forest Police Department where she was read her Miranda rights, which she acknowledged and waived, according to the report.  She then allegedly told police that she had received a telephone call from her friend "Trish" earlier that day.  "Trish" asked Gonzales to pick up a prescription for her and gave her directions to the White Castle located at the intersection of Route 30 and Western Ave.  Gonzales drove there from Hammond, Indiana, and met with "Trish" and her boyfriend "Mac".  "Trish" told Gonzales the name listed on the prescription.  Gonzalez followed "Trish" and Mac to Walgreens in Park Forest.  She drove into the pharmacy drive-up and asked for the prescription.  She knew that Walgreens’ employees were suspicious because they took a long time to bring her the prescription.  She said she received a prescription and was stopped by police moments later.

Gonzalez further related that she had done this for "Trish" numerous times in the past, at least 30 times in various locations in Indiana and Illinois.  "Trish" allegedly gives Gonzalez between $30 and $50 for picking up these prescriptions, which are in various names that "Trish" gives to Gonzales when she goes to make the pick-up.  According to her statement, Gonzalez said she overheard "Trish" comment that she sells the prescription pills to various people for three dollars per pill and also uses them herself.

Further investigation revealed the identity of "Trish".  A digital photo of "Trish" was positively identified by Gonzales.

Corporal Sheets contacted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review and related the above facts to Assistant States Attorney Nick Karas, who gave approval for a charge of possession of controlled substance against Gonzales. 

Corporal Sheets will continue to investigate this matter in reference to Patricia Craig.

Source: Police Report