Investigation nabs 15 more on drug charges

Fifteen people were arrested on charges related to the forgery of Oxycontin prescriptions in Central and Eastern Kentucky, state Attorney General Jack Conway said Tuesday.

The arrests came after 19 people were indicted by a Fayette County grand jury in connection with the alleged forgery of prescriptions from Hazard to Lexington, according to the attorney general's office.

The indictments followed a yearlong investigation by the attorney general's office and the Office of Inspector General.

The arrests were made over three days earlier this month by the attorney general's criminal investigations department. It was assisted by Kentucky State Police and Operation UNITE, a drug enforcement and treatment program in the state's 5th Congressional District. Additional arrests are pending.

Suspects were arrested in Fayette, Madison, Letcher and Perry counties. All face charges of possession of a forged prescription and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud for allegedly possessing or filling prescriptions of Oxycontin or stolen prescription blanks.

All the charges are Class D felonies that carry penalties of between one and five years in prison.

The drugs were obtained over the course of a year in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Those arrested as part of the investigation were taken to the following jails:

Fayette County Detention Center: Chad Michael Fugate, 30; Curtis Venters, 37; and Keith Adam Alcorn, 38.

Madison County Detention Center: Robert Bentley, 42, and Diane Bentley, 37.

Letcher County Detention Center: Candi Hughes, 29.

Perry County Detention Center: Albert Brewer, 47; Shelby Ritchie, 35; Marvin Henson, 38; Melissa J. Smith, 42; Allen Smith, 42; Robert Taulbee, 44; Christopher B. Rowland, 35; Vaughn A. Brock, 48; and Gregory Hudson, 44.