Two charged in prescription drug case

Published 10:50 am Friday, June 11, 2010

WINDSOR – Thanks to the keen eye of a veteran pharmacist, an alleged attempt by two individuals to illegally obtain a powerful prescription narcotic was foiled here Tuesday.

Windsor Police Sgt. Ricky Morris reported the arrests of Ramon Smallwood, 38, and 31-year-old Brooke Caroline North, both of 3207 Briggs Street in Kill Devil Hills. Both were charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense, a felony. Each was placed under a $50,000 secured bond and incarcerated in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.

Sgt. Morris said the case developed after Bill Pittman of Pittman’s Pharmacy, located on West Granville Street in downtown Windsor, noticed something amiss about a call-in prescription.

“Bill contacted me on Tuesday about this,” Morris said. “He said he had a prescription that was called in for 30 hydrocodone pills supposedly prescribed for Mr. Smallwood by a doctor in Williamston. However, when Bill called that doctor to verify the information, he was informed that no prescription was given to Mr. Smallwood and, further more, they had no patient by the name of Ramon Smallwood.”

Hydrocodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Due to its opiate-related side effects, such as euphoria, sedation and somnolence, hydrocodone is now one of the most common recreational prescription drugs in America, along with oxycodone.

Sgt. Morris devised a plan with Pittman, arranging for a phone call from the pharmacy once Smallwood arrived to pick-up the prescription.

“When that occurred, I questioned Mr. Smallwood about the prescription, indicating to him that the doctor’s office in Williamston had no record of him being a patient there,” Morris said. “To that, Mr. Smallwood claimed to have a prescription from a dentist’s office on the Outer Banks, but when we contacted that dentist’s office they said no prescription was given to Mr. Smallwood for that type of drug.”

Now armed with this information, Sgt. Morris placed Smallwood under arrest.

Allegedly, North called in the prescription for Smallwood. Sgt. Morris stated that after arresting Smallwood, North followed him to the Bertie Sherriff’s Office where Smallwood was to be processed.

“I spoke to her at the Sheriff’s Office, knowing all along that a female had called in the prescription,” Morris said. “I asked to look at her cell phone, which she obliged. As soon as she opened the phone, she started erasing numbers, but I managed to see the Pittman Pharmacy phone number before she deleted it. That gave me what I needed to arrest her on the same charge.”

Assisting in the arrest were Windsor Police Chief Rodney Hoggard, Detective Roebuck and Bertie Sheriff’s Detective Kenny Gilliam.

Smallwood and North made their first court appearance on Wednesday.