News Story

 

Fraudulent Prescription Conspiracy Investigation Leads to Arrests
6/22/2017 5:00:00 PM

 

Nature of Incident:

Fraudulent prescription conspiracy investigation leads to 4 arrests

Report Number:

17-68136 & 17-86821

Location:

CVS Pharmacy, 2700 block of Agoura Road, Thousand Oaks 

Date & Time:

May 11th, 2017

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit

East County Street Team

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(S) Daniel Key

(S) Meldin Merrill

(S) Saliba Tannous

(S) Eric Florence

Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks

Reseda

Reseda


Narrative:

 

During the month of May 2017, a CVS pharmacy in Thousand Oaks determined a prescription that had been passed was fraudulent.  A patrol deputy responded to the location and initiated a crime report for 11368 H&S ' Fraudulent or forged prescription used to obtain a controlled medication. 

 

Upon reviewing the crime report, the Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PCU) began an investigation.  The investigation determined the incident was much larger than one passed forged prescription.  The PCU eventually determined four suspects were involved in passing up to 100 forged prescriptions in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. 

 

On May 27th, 2017 Daniel Key and Meldin Merrill were identified as the two individuals passing forged prescriptions at multiple pharmacies in the city of Thousand Oaks.  Key and Merrill were located in the parking lot of a Walgreens Pharmacy in Thousand Oaks.  A search warrant was served on the vehicle Key and Merrill were driving and evidence related to the forged prescriptions was located.  Key and Merrill were arrested.  Once Key and Merrill were arrested and the evidence located inside their vehicle was processed, the PCU learned of two additional suspects involved in this criminal conspiracy. 

 

On June 14th, 2017 a search warrant was served at the residence of Saliba Tannous and Eric Florence in the 19000 block of Arminta Street in Reseda.  Tannous and Florence were taken into custody at the location.  Numerous items of evidence were located at the residence, including blank and completed forged prescriptions, numerous controlled medications as well as a large sum of US currency.  The investigation determined Tannous was the person responsible for creating the forged prescriptions using valid doctor's information without their consent or authority. 

 

All four suspects were booked into the Ventura County Jail on charges of 11368 H&S ' Fraudulent prescription and 182 PC ' conspiracy to commit a felony.  The specific number of charges against each arrestee is specific to their involvement in this case. 

 

The public may contact investigators from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or pharm.tip@ventura.org with additional information about this case, or any other information related to narcotics.

  

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Thousand Oaks Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services. The primary mission of the task force is combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. 

 

 

Prepared by:

Sergeant Matthew Young

 

 

News Release Date:

June 22, 2017

 

Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Matthew Winter

(805) 797-6401

Matt.winter@ventura.org

 

 

Approved by:

Captain Robert Thomas