A man charged with forging prescriptions at a Glen Burnie pharmacy is part of a three-person team suspected in dozens of similar cases in Carroll, Baltimore and Prince George's counties, police said yesterday.
Harold Brian Firor, 35, of Reisterstown, was arrested in Anne Arundel County on Monday after he tried to pass a forged prescription for Percodan and penicillin at the F & M Pharmacy on Ritchie Highway, police said.
Anne Arundel police charged Mr. Firor with five counts of prescription fraud, theft and other related drug charges.
State Police charged him with 10 counts of prescription fraud in connection with seven incidents at the Rite Aid drug store in the 3000 block of Gamber Road in Finksburg, Carroll County.
Mr. Firor was being held yesterday at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in lieu of $40,000 bail.
Additional arrests could come within two weeks, police said.
The charging documents say police are investigating a group of people who print and pass forged prescriptions for narcotic drugs under the name of the fictional Dr. Alfredo Manvetta.
Court documents said Mr. Firor fraudulently obtained Percocet from the Rite Aid on six occasions between July 17 and Aug. 29, and bought Diazapam four times between July 27 and Aug. 29.
Police said they believe Mr. Firor is part of a trio responsible for at least 25 cases of prescription fraud in Anne Arundel.
Michael J. McKelvin, state police spokesman, said investigators are building cases against the suspect in Baltimore and Prince George's counties.
Anne Arundel Sgt. Earl Fowlkes said police believe that the trio sell, trade and use the drugs they obtain.
"This is a well-organized group," said Sergeant Fowlkes, noting that the suspects print prescription forms that are virtually indistinguishable from the ones doctors use.
Anne Arundel police began investigating the trio in September, when they received similar stories from several pharmacies. Copies of forged prescriptions were distributed to pharmacists, who were told to call police if they saw one.
On Monday, F & M pharmacist Peter Ridolfi did just that. Court documents say Mr. Ridolfi notified store security after receiving a prescription signed by Dr. Manvetta.
Security officers detained Mr. Firor after they saw him steal four packs of cigarettes while he was waiting for his prescription to be filled, court documents say.