The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department has arrested 21 people on prescription drug charges, including a Shelby podiatrist. The investigation lasted for more than a year.
The arrests are the result of what authorities call Operation Prescribed Epidemic. Sheriff’s deputies worked with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Bureau of Investigation to look into prescription drug fraud. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s office says it got a tip in August 2013 that podiatrist Steven Skorman of Carolina Foot and Ankle was prescribing strong painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin to people with little or no need for the medication. During the investigation, two undercover agents posed as patients at Skorman’s office and were prescribed large quantities of pain killers, without a need for the drugs. Skorman was arrested late yesterday and is also charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Twenty-one other people were arrested as a result of the investigation. They’re charged with possession with intent to sell a range of prescription drugs including pain killers, anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Klonopin, and amphetamines. Eight other people are still wanted in connection with the operation.