Drug enforcement officers filed fifteen felony charges against owners and workers at a pain management clinic in midtown.
Nine employees of Embrace Health and Pain Management Clinic, including two nurse practitioners, were indicted on September 16 on illegal prescription drug distribution charges.
A 21-month investigation revealed nurse practitioners Elizabeth D. Capotosti and Kathleen A. Karazewski issued addictive controlled substances, like Oxycodone, outside professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, according to a news release.
They reportedly issued the drugs without giving physical examinations, and the drugs were allegedly resold to known street dealers throughout Southern Arizona, the release said.
"Prescription drug abuse is a dangerous and growing problem in Arizona," DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman stated in a news release. "Those who perpetuate this problem by trafficking in prescription drugs are drug dealers; no different than those who peddle cocaine and methamphetamine in our streets."
All defendants were arrested from September 16 through September 25 and were booked into the Pima County Jail. The nine indicted defendants include owner and nurse practitioner Elizabeth D. Capotosti; nurse practitioner Kathleen A. Karaszewski; owner Alyssa Asch-McElmurry; office manager Kim D. Gonzalez; security guard Jorge Gonzalez; and staff members Joseph Epperson, Albaluz Portugal, Santos M. Guillen, Jr. and Adam A. Rosales.
"DEA and its partners will stand firm on its commitment to investigate and prosecute these type of illegal medical practices and prevent controlled substances from being diverted into the wrong hands and endangering the health of our citizens," Coleman said.
Anyone with information concerning the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs is asked to call the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad at (520) 573-5500.
Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.