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Archives 10-18-2006

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Clark's Pharmacy raided by authorities
Missing child report filed for Adam Prater

Sgt. Wesley Tucker remembered
Fentress woman charged with 80 counts of TennCare fraud

 

Clark's Pharmacy raided by authorities

Dale Welch/Hilltop Express
At the Overton County Sheriff's Deptartment, deputies were still busy logging evidence near midnight October 16.

Overton County Sheriff's Department executed two search warrants related to pharmacist Doug Clark on Monday, Oct. 16. Clark has owned and operated Clark's Medical Center Pharmacy in Livingston for many years.

The search warrants were executed after a month-long investigation by Inv. Brian Franklin and Greg Etheredge of the Overton County Sheriff's Department. The investigation centered on alleged illegal distribution of narcotics by Clark through his pharmacy from a period dating back to 2003.

Sheriff W.B. Melton authorized the current investigation into Clark's activities just after taking office on September 1.

The Sheriff's Dept. stated that Clark knowingly accepted a forged prescription in October for the drug OxyContin and then sold the OxyContin for cash. In addition, the Sheriff's Department alleged that Clark used not only his pharmacy to promote illegal activity, but that he used his home as part of the illegal activity.

Etheredge stated that part of their investigation looked into allegations that people could go to Clark's Pharmacy and get prescriptions filled with "no questions asked". One couple, back in 2003, was allegedly able to obtain more than 2,000 OxyContin pills using the names of 10 different doctors in just a 10 month period. The street value of these drugs was well over $100,000.

Overton County Sheriff's Department was not the only agency investigating Doug Clark and his pharmacy. During the last year, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had also conducted an undercover investigation of Doug Clark. The TBI's investigation led to indictments handed down by Overton County Grand Jury for not only Doug Clark, but for one of his employees.

Clark was arrested Monday on charges including the sale and distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance, the sale of drugs in a school zone, forgery, and TennCare fraud. Clark's bond was set at $200,000.

The cases made from the Sheriff's Dept. will be presented at a later date to the Overton County Grand Jury.

Sheriff Melton stated that he believed this was a long time coming and hopes that this sends a message that Overton County is not a place to freely come and get drugs and sell drugs.

Sheriff Melton stated that this operation would not have been a success without the help of the District Attorney's Office, the Office of Inspector General, which is charged with the prosecution of TennCare fraud, the State of Tennessee Pharmacy Board, the TBI, and Livingston Police Department.

Officers participating in the execution of the search warrants included Sheriff Melton, Greg Etheredge, Kevin Phillips, Gary Ledbetter, Frank Dial, Jacob Boswell, Jeremy Wilhite, Donathan Durham, Lee Richards, Dana Looper, Robert Garrett, Brent Taft, and John Mackie. Inv. Brian Franklin, who played a major role in this investigation, was not able to be on site for the search warrants, as he was on his honeymoon.

The Sheriff's Department requests that anyone with information related to this case, or any other drug case in Overton County, contact the Sheriff's Dept. at (931) 823-5635.

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Missing child report filed for Adam Prater

Overton County Sheriff's Department has submitted a missing child report to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for Adam Lee Prater, 7 year-old son of Melody Lynne Prater of Livingston.

According to the report, Adam was last seen by his mother while living in Deming, NM, on November 5, 2005. Adam was allegedly picked up by his step-mother, Gloria Prater, who did not return him.

The report states, "On August 15, 2006, Melody was awarded custody, along with an order for Larry and Gloria Prater to return the child to her in Comanche, OK, which they did not do. The order was granted in Overton County, TN."

When Adam was abducted, he was around 4 feet tall, weighed approximately 50 pounds, and was missing a front tooth. He has brown hair, brown eyes, a tanned complexion, and is thin in build. Distinctive characteristics include a scar inside his upper lip and upper gum.

Adam's interests include fishing, baseball, and karate.

Adam's father is described as a white 43 year-old male, 5'10" in stature, 190 pounds, with brown eyes and a dark complexion. Larry Gene Prater's last known vehicle was a 2001 white Ford F350 4x4 crew cab with a diamond plated fuel tank in the bed.

Anyone with any information about Adam or his father should contact Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Missing Child Unit at (615) 741-0430 or by mail at 1148 Foster Avenue, Nashville, TN 37210-4406.

 

 

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Sgt. Wesley Tucker remembered Friday

Beth Underwood/OCN staff
Sgt. Robert Wesley Tucker was remembered by family, friends, and fellow soldiers with a memorial walk on the first anniversary of his death on Friday, Oct. 13. He was killed in Ad Dujayl, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck his Humvee during combat operations. Sgt. Tucker served with Troop K, 3/278 RCT.

"It is hard to believe that one year has passed since we lost one of our own," said Cpt. Paul W. Shannon, Commanding Officer. "It is a pleasure to see so many members of the community, family and friends come together to honor such a fine soldier as Wes Tucker. He is truly missed."

The walk began at Livingston National Guard Armory, travelling 18 miles to Sgt. Wesley Tucker Cemetery in Hilham. The six hour walk included a horse with empty saddle and boots placed backward in the stirrups to represent the fallen soldier.

 

Fentress woman charged with 80 counts of TennCare fraud

A Fentress County woman charged with over 80 counts of fraudulently obtaining TennCare medical benefits, prescription drug fraud, and obtaining services by fraud was arrested in Overton County by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Thursday, Oct. 12

Rebecca J. Amonett, 41, of Pall Mall, faces 50 counts of fraudulently obtaining TennCare medical assistance, 35 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and 1 count of obtaining services by fraud, deception coercion, or false pretense to avoid payment of prescriptions.

The drugs involved are Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication that is considered habit-forming, Avinza, an extended-release form of the painkiller morphine, Soma, a muscle relaxant usually used to treat injuries and other painful muscular conditions, and, Cyclobenzaprine, another muscle relaxant mainly used to treat pain, tenderness, and limited motion.

Investigators say that Amonett filled over 30 prescriptions for the medications in just over a year at a local pharmacy in Livingston, using TennCare to pay for the drugs. But the provider on record for the prescriptions says she's never been his patient, and reports he did not write the prescriptions.

Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said, "We relied heavily on local officers to find the suspect in this case sheriff's officers in Pickett and Fentress County who went out of their way to find the suspect.

"The war against TennCare fraud can only be won with local officers, providers, and prosecutors working with us, and we've been able to count on them immeasurably."

If convicted Amonett could face up to 2 years on each count of TennCare fraud, up to 4 years on each count of obtaining a controlled substance, and up to 6 years for the theft of services.

Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February of last year, 313 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. OIG is an agency separate from the TennCare bureau.

Through the OIG "Cash for Tips" program established by the General Assembly, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website at www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report Fraud Now".

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
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