Nine arrested in Lee County prescription fraud case
Nine people have been arrested in an elaborate prescription fraud case that investigators say involved counterfeit prescriptions and a verification scam.
The two-month investigation began July 28 after deputies with the Lee County Sheriffs Office responded to 20494 Sherill Lane, Estero to serve an arrest warrant on Jason Dallas Bergin for violation of probation. Bergin had been on probation for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Deputies serving the warrant observed numerous articles of drug paraphernalia in the home, officials said.
Detectives with the Pharmaceutical Investigative Law Enforcement Strategy Section of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit assumed the investigation.
Upon securing a search warrant, detectives searched Bergin’s residence and located syringes filled with Roxycodone, as well as fraudulent prescriptions, drug journals, 32.6 grams of Methadone pills and 240 Oxycodone pills, officials said. Detectives also learned Bergin and his wife, Carey Ann Bergin, were printing their own prescriptions using the names of doctors throughout the state of Florida. In addition, the Bergins orchestrated a scam which validated the prescriptions if they were questioned by a pharmacist, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators learned other individuals would conspire with the Bergins to produce fraudulent prescriptions and pass them at local pharmacies. The Bergins would pay these conspirators with a percentage of the fraudulent prescriptions obtained through their scam, officials said.
Technicians searched computers seized during the search warrant and located numerous pieces of evidence detailing the illegal operation. PILS detectives requested the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration to sift through large quantities of evidence and interview multiple suspects and witnesses.
The arrests were announced Friday.
“Together with our state and federal counterparts, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to an aggressive and consistent attack on drug dealers and users at all levels,” Sheriff Mike Scott said in a prepared statement.
According to that statement, the following individuals have been federally indicted for conspiracy to distribute narcotics. They are currently in the custody of the United States Marshal’s Office.
– Jason Dallas Bergin (DOB 11/24/1975) and Carey Ann Bergin (DOB 11/13/73), of 20494 Sherill Lane, Estero . In addition to the conspiracy to distribute charges, both of the Bergins have been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute.
– Julie Patricia Becker (DOB 6/21/74), of 571 2nd Street SE, Fort Myers
– Susan Marie Hamilton (DOB 8/31/58), of 20494 Sherill Lane, Fort Myers
– Shandy James Albert (DOB 12/18/75), 27603 Pierce Avenue, Bonita Springs
– Theresa Lynn Martinez (DOB 1/5/63), 44 Greenbriar Street, Marco Island
– Robert Bruce Powner (DOB 1/23/54), listed as a transient
– Jarett Paul Sprafka (DOB 8/9/78), 8570 King Bird Loop # 521, Fort Myers
– Matthew James Gross (DOB 2/25/78), 7224 Coolidge Road, Ft Myers
Investigators also learned that Sprafka established his own prescription printing operation using some of the same conspirators in the Bergin conspiracy, officials said.
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office