10 charged in opioid drug ring - WNEM TV 5

10 charged in opioid drug ring

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Ten Michigan residents were charged in connection to an opioid drug ring.

Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges on Wednesday for the Lansing area drug ring.

The members submitted forged prescriptions to several Michigan pharmacies in order to get prescription pain killers and defraud the state's Medicaid program, the attorney general's office said.

The drugs were then sold for money or traded for other drugs.

“When misused, prescription drugs can be every bit as dangerous as street drugs,” Schuette said.  “We will continue to aggressively pursue anyone involved in diverting prescription drugs outside the realm of legitimate medical treatment who are contributing to the scourge of opioid addiction to make money, at the detriment to those addicted and to our state as a whole.”

The Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad sent a complaint about the drug ring to the attorney general's office, which prompted the investigation.

The following residents were charged in connection to the case:

  • Jennifer Bicego, 30, of Lansing
  • Luke Gutkowski, 22, of Mason
  • Dustin Fritz, 20, or Lansing
  • Trisha Burkett, 20, of Mason
  • Jona Lafferty, 20, of Vernon
  • Lance Roe, 33, of Holt
  • Charles Loveall, 34, of Holt
  • Brandon Madden, 32, of Charlotte
  • Andrew Pell, 31, of East Lansing
  • Rachel Vito, 27, of Lansing

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