CLEVELAND -- Seven people from Cleveland and East Cleveland have been arrested and charged in a 39-count indictment for fraudulently obtaining prescription painkillers.
Those arrested also faces health care fraud and identity theft charges.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the group forged prescriptions for such painkillers as Oxycontin and Percocet then hired people to have those prescriptions filled at area pharmacies. The pills were then sold on the street.
"We have seen a huge increase in prescription drug abuse in Ohio, and this case demonstrates the lengths people will go to defraud and profit from pills," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "Instead of dealers shipping in drugs from South America, we now have people forging prescriptions."
"The abuse of illicitly obtained prescription drugs is reaching epidemic proportions, surpassing that of marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined," said Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office.
Court appearances for the seven people indicted are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.