The sentencing hearing for a Newport Township woman charged with using deception to obtain prescription painkillers was postponed until later this month after her attorney motioned for a continuation Friday morning.
But shortly after Michele Boyd, 44, of 3701 Zion Ridge Road, was arrested on a warrant for being a fugitive from justice in Kentucky and placed in the Washington County Jail.
"She'll be held here until Kentucky authorities pick her up," said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
Washington County Common Pleas Judge Ed Lane granted the motion for continuation by defense attorney Rolf Baumgartel who said the reason for the request was that Boyd was scheduled for medical appointments over the next two weeks.
Lane re-set the sentencing hearing for 8 a.m. April 24.
Boyd was originally indicted in December on seven counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, and one count of illegal processing of drug documents from incidents that occurred between September and November 2012.
Michele Boyd, 44, of 3701 Zion Ridge Road, Newport Township, was arrested and placed in the Washington County Jail on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Kentucky Friday morning.
Boyd's arrest came shortly after Washington County Common Pleas Judge Ed Lane had granted a continuation of her sentencing hearing on local felony charges including deception to obtain a dangerous drug, and illegal processing of drug documents.
Boyd pleaded guilty to those charges Feb. 8.
Her sentencing hearing, originally scheduled for Friday, was continued by Judge Lane until April 24 at 8 a.m.
Boyd could face up to 12 months in prison for the fifth-degree felony document processing charge, and up to 18 months on the fourth-degree felony deception charge.
"She pretended to be a physician. She would call local pharmacies and tell them she was a doctor or a nurse in Kentucky and have a prescription filled, then she would pay for it and pick it up," said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Jared Erb.
He said six of the original eight counts against Boyd were dropped, and she pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to a single fourth-degree felony charge of deception to obtain a dangerous drug and the fifth-degree felony charge for illegal drug document processing.
Erb said the drug was tramadol, a painkiller that's not currently considered a federally-controlled substance, but still requires a prescription.
"People do get addicted to it," he said, adding that Boyd, a former nurse, had made the deceptive calls to several area pharmacies in order to obtain the drug.
Boyd was arrested twice prior to her indictment-the first time in October at the Marietta Kroger store where a database indicated she had recently had a prescription for the drug filled at another area pharmacy.
The Kroger pharmacy called the doctor in Kentucky whose name was on the prescription phoned in by Boyd, and the physician confirmed he did not submit the prescription.
"They contacted the police and she was arrested, but bonded out," Erb said. "Then a couple of weeks later she was arrested again picking up a prescription at the Marietta Walgreen's drive-thru."
He noted Boyd had a history of similar crimes and was arrested on 13 felony counts in June 2009, and another 13 counts in October 2009 in Kentucky.
"She was on probation there," Erb said, adding that Kentucky authorities had issued a warrant for her arrest, but Boyd would still face sentencing in Washington County on April 24.
Mincks said pharmaceutical databases like the Ohio Automatic Rx Reporting System (OARRS) are valuable tools in preventing prescription drug crimes.
"If we have someone 'doctor-shopping' to get a prescription, for example, we can check every pharmacy in Ohio where they may have obtained a prescription," he said. "And doctors and pharmacies can make use of that database, too."
Mincks said Boyd was in the Washington County Adult Probation Office when she was arrested on the warrant out of Kentucky around 9:21 a.m. Friday.