Affidavit alleges SDPD couple was "doctor shopping" - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Affidavit alleges SDPD couple was "doctor shopping"

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – A new search warrant obtained by CBS News 8 reveals accusations of doctor shopping against married San Diego police officers.

In June, drug deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department arrested Bryce and Jennifer Charpentier for allegations of dealing hydrocodone. Deputies swarmed their 4S Ranch home on the day of the arrest.

The search warrant filed on July 15 by an investigator with the District Attorney’s office shows deputies with the sheriff’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area have been investigating the couple since September, 2013.

Detectives say a confidential informant claims the officers were supplying the informant with prescription drugs.

“Based on that affidavit it appears that the couple might be doctor shopping,” said Armstrong.

Defense attorney Kerry Armstrong is not representing the Charpentier’s but says according to the affidavit there are a lot of red flags.

The search warrant lists 12 doctor’s offices searched. From June 2012 to June 2014 in the statewide prescription drug database used by doctors “CURES” showed Jennifer Charpentier, 41, obtained 7 different prescription drugs, 71 prescriptions, 7 doctors from 17 pharmacies.

"That is a lot. That is a whole lot of pills in a fairly small amount of time,” said Armstrong.

That same database shows Bryce Charpentier, 32, obtained 5 prescription drugs, 79 prescriptions from 6 different doctors at 17 pharmacies.

“The defense attorneys are going to have their hands full,” said Armstrong.

The couples’ ex spouses have accused the Charpentier’s of abusing prescription drugs.

Since June records show investigators tracked where the wife was allegedly pharmacy shopping.

Records show most happened within a mile of Interstate-15 and the U.S. Highway 163 corridor, nine pharmacies were within 5 miles of their 4S Ranch home. Bryce Charpentier went to pharmacies as far as Oakhurst in Yosemite National Park and twice the Los Angeles area.

Armstrong says despite what the affidavit states, there are many questions, “We don't know from that affidavit, or the return of the search warrant what the medications were, why they went to several different doctors. Pain affects people in different ways and just because you go to more than one doctor doesn't automatically mean you are doctor shopping."

The search warrant affidavit showed hundreds of pages of medical records were seized from some doctors officers and none at other offices. Armstrong says that could possibly mean the Charpentier's didn't visit that doctor, there is a glitch in the database or the doctor didn't use the database.

The Charpentier’s are charged with 2 felonies of dealing hydrocodone, possessing a firearm while being an addict. Bryce Charpentier is accused of having a gun while dealing prescription drugs. If convicted they could serve 5-6 years in prison.

Investigators say the couple had text messages on their cell phones with references to prescription drug deals.

The search warrant also shows within hours of bailing out of jail, Bryce Charpentier tried to obtain the strong pain reliever Tramadol. The pharmacist alerted SDPD.

The couple is scheduled to be in court for a readiness hearing on August 15 and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 29.

Sherrie Rubin with Hope2gether, a non-profit organization who advocates against prescription drug abuse says, the most important thing [doctor’s] can do is to sign up and utilize the "CURES" system, allowing them to intervene if their patient is Dr. Shopping," said Rubin. “The most important thing society should do as a whole is educate themselves about "opiate drugs" allowing them to understand the highly addictive nature of these pills"

The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which a site where you can safely drop you’re your unused prescriptions at a secure site at the Sheriff’s or police stations is September 27th.

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