DENVER — Colorado law enforcement authorities credit an Ardmore pharmacy for helping crack a Denver-area drug ring that authorities said tried to obtain oxycodone with a phony prescription in Ardmore.
“We are very appreciative of the Reed Family Pharmacy in Ardmore for their vigilance, which was instrumental,” a spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said Friday.
Suthers said 15 people have been charged in suburban Denver, accused of fraudulently acquiring, diverting and distributing large amounts of oxycodone in the Denver area.
One of them pleaded guilty in Ardmore and is serving a five-year prison term in Oklahoma, Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd said, speaking from Ardmore.
The ring was based in suburban Denver, but tried to have fraudulent prescriptions for the controlled drug filled in Ardmore and Salina, Kan., as well as the Denver area, Suthers said.
Ladd said a Reed store pharmacist suspected a prescription presented to him in March was phony and called Ardmore police. The prescription for oxycodone was on a form belonging to a physician in suburban Denver.
Police arrested three people from the Denver area at the pharmacy, Ladd said.
He said police found them with a loaded .45-caliber pistol, methamphetamine, marijuana and oxycodone.
One of them, Michael Bruzda, later pleaded guilty to illegally possessing oxycodone and was sentenced, the district attorney said.
Two others, Robin Steinke and Leticia Deherrera, posted bond and are awaiting trial in Carter County on multiple drug and gun charges, Ladd said.
Suthers said Steinke was the leader of the ring that tried to obtain the narcotic from pharmacies and sell it on the black market for inflated prices.
Ladd said he had no information about why the ring picked Ardmore as one of its locations to try to obtain the drug.