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Update: Prescription fraud suspect faces additional charges

A suspect who was facing one charge of fraudulently acquiring prescription medication is now facing 49 total counts of the same charge.

Picayune Police Deputy Chief David Ervin said further investigation found that the suspect, Patricia Diez, 46, of 1309 Rock Ranch Rd., has been illegally acquiring prescription medication for years.

Diez was initially charged with one count of fraud and acquisition of a controlled substance after she allegedly called in a prescription for herself using an alias on March 27. Diez, who was working for a local doctor’s office, called in a prescription of 60 Lorocet pills. The next day officers were waiting for her to pick up the prescription after the pharmacy called the doctor to verify the prescription and he indicated that he did not authorize the prescription, Ervin said. Diez was arrested the next day when she came to pick up the medication.

Ervin said that as of Thursday, Diez is now facing 48 additional charges for the same offense since the investigation shows that Diez has been filling fraudulent prescriptions at the same pharmacy for years. Ervin could not say how many years since the investigation is still underway.

Whether Diez has been filling prescriptions under a false name or filling them at other local pharmacies also is under investigation, Ervin said. The investigation also is attempting to establish whether Diez was filling the prescriptions for her own personal use or for other purposes, such as selling them.