CEDAR CITY – A Parowan man who was arrested at the end of October for allegedly forging oxycodone prescriptions from a stolen prescription pad and filling them at Lin’s Pharmacy in Cedar City is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 17 for a review status of council. (See ed. note)
Michael Sprague, 50, was arrested Oct. 30 by the Iron/Garfield/Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force and is charged with third-degree felony possession of a forged prescription and a class A misdemeanor for possession of schedule 2 narcotics without a valid prescription.
Sprague also had “several warrants related to forgery and prescription fraud,” according to a probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest.
The warrants all looked to originate in Las Vegas, Iron County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Del Schlosser said, but he was unable to verify anything beyond that.
The prescription pads that were said to be stolen came from the Las Vegas office of Dr. Gary Grossman, according to the statement, and were taken from his office three years ago.
The task force was alerted to the prescription fraud by the pharmacist on Oct. 29, according to the statement, after Sprague had filled a script for 90 7.5-milligram tablets earlier that morning.
The pharmacist told the task force agent that Sprague had been in the day before with a 10-milligram prescription from the same doctor’s office, according to the statement, but was told that the pharmacy would have to order more because they didn’t have enough stock to fill it at the time.
“(The pharmacist) stated that after Mr. Sprague left the pharmacy (the second time) he called Doctor Grossman’s office and was told that this was not a valid prescription,” according to the statement. “He stated that he had not seen Mr. Sprague as a patient for several years and that he had stolen a prescription pad.”
Sprague allegedly admitted to task force agents, while in custody, that he used to do pest control at Dr. Grossman’s office in Las Vegas, according to the statement. He told them that he had stolen a blank prescription and made photo copies of it.
Sprague was read his Miranda rights, according to the statement, and told agents he understood his rights and was willing to talk to them about what happened.
“He admitted that he had passed the fraudulent prescription today at Lin’s to obtain the 90 Norco 7.5 millgram (sic) tablets,” according to the statement. “He stated that he had given a guy about 15 of the 90 pills that he had obtained today.”
Sprague went on to tell agents that he did not currently have a valid prescription for Norco 7.5 milligram tablets and that he had stolen the blank prescription about three years ago.
Sprague was booked into the Iron County Jail, where he was still incarcerated as of Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. and was being held on $25,000 bondable bail.
Appearing for an initial court appearance by video from the Iron County Jail, according to court documents, Sprague told 5th District Court Judge Keith C. Barnes that he planned to retain his own council. The Nov. 17 hearing will be to determine whether Sprague has, in fact, been able to acquire representation or if he will need a court-appointed public defender.
No information about whether or not Sprague would eventually be extradited to Las Vegas was available at this early juncture in the case, Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett said.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. note: Court date mistakenly listed as October has been corrected.
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