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Manchester police make arrests in large prescription drug operation

Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

Manchester police have made an arrest in part of a multi-county drug pipeline that had been operating for more than two years.

Information from a confidential informant helped guide them through the inner workings of the complex set-up.

The informant said violent dealers will do what it takes to protect their golden goose.  In this case a never ending supply of pills like oxycodone hitting the streets for big money in six counties:  Coffee, Rutherford, Bedford, Franklin, Williamson and Davidson.

“We are talking thousands and thousands of pills that hit the streets during the past two years because of this scheme,” said Billy Butler, a Manchester Polide Department detective.

The investigator said the dealers somehow obtained lists of the DEA numbers needed to write their own narcotic prescriptions and then started printing up their own prescriptions after obtaining the special paper needed to complete the task.

“Pharmacies usually catch fakes,” said Butler. “But not these they are too good.”

A joint operation between Manchester and Murfreesboro police led to the confiscation of bogus prescriptions, computers and printers used to make the fakes.  They also have arrested three people: Gary Pinkston, Christine Sankey and Johnny Turner.

Butler said that’s the tip of the iceberg and there will be more arrests to come including some prominent doctors and registered nurses involved in the scheme.

Also, Federal DEA agents are now part of the growing investigation.