Anne Arundel man charged in prescription ruse Suspect dressed as accident victim

November 10, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

A Cape St. Claire man who wore bloody bandages and put his arm in a sling to make himself look like an accident victim has been charged with passing forged prescriptions for painkillers at five Anne Arundel County pharmacies.

Investigators say they suspect he has used the same ruse at 70 other drug stores in Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties. He has not yet been charged in those jurisdictions, however.

In addition, police said they believe he obtained prescriptions or prescription pads from 10 area hospitals and 50 local doctors' offices.

Douglas Vincent Minchillo, 34, was arrested Monday night after police searched his home in the 1200 block of Hilltop Drive and confiscated percocet and other prescription pain killers, Sgt. Earl Fowlkes, head of the Anne Arundel County police prescription fraud unit, said yesterday.

Mr. Minchillo, who was released on his own recognizance, could not be reached for comment.

Police said the suspect, who sometimes used a false name, faked injuries or complained of back pain to get doctors to write him prescriptions for percocet, or he stole prescription pads and wrote them himself.

Sergeant Fowlkes said detectives were alerted to the alleged scheme on Sept. 13 by a pharmacist at the Rite Aid in the 5600 block of RitchieHighway in Brooklyn Park who told them he had seen several prescriptions for percocet written on St. Agnes Hospital prescription pads and signed by a Dr. David Brian Bullis.

Police showed the prescriptions, all of which appeared to have been written by the same person, to Dr. Bullis, who said he did not sign them.

On Sept. 23, another Rite Aid pharmacist called Anne Arundel police and said a man he knew as Mr. Minchillo came into the store in the 1200 block of Bay Dale Drive Sept. 9 with a prescription for percocet in the name of Tim Bedore. The prescription was written on a pad from St. Agnes Hospital, according to charging documents filed in District Court. But the man left when the pharmacist tried to call the hospital to verify it, the documents said.

On Oct. 5, a man wearing a bandage on his arm tried to get another forged prescription for percocet filled in the name of Alan Hanley at the Giant store in the 3100 block of Solomon's Island Road, the documents said. Again, he left the store when the pharmacist tried to verify it by calling the doctor who wrote it, the documents said.

The suspect made similar attempts at three other drug stores in Anne Arundel County, the charging documents said.

On Oct. 28, detectives followed Mr. Minchillo from his job as a computer operator in Prince Geroge's County to a vacant parking lot, where they said he changed clothes and put a bandage on his right arm. He also put a bandage with what appeared to be blood on it on his nose, the documents said.

The detectives followed him to a drug store in Wheaton where he allegedly had a prescription for percocet filled, the documents said, and threw the bag in a trash can. The officers retrieved the bag and found the name of Tom Wilson on it, the documents said.

Sergeant Fowlkes said Mr. Minchillo began taking percocet several years ago for an elbow injury and continued taking the drug because he liked it. He quit taking if for a while, but started back up again, Sergeant Fowlkes said.

Percocet relaxes a person's nervous system to the point where someone driving under the influence is as dangerous as a drunken driver, Sergeant Fowlkes said.

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