THOUSAND OAKS – A woman suspected of “doctor shopping” in order to fraudulently acquire prescription pain killers was arrested by detectives with the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit. A unit consisting of local, state and federal investigators.
Jennifer Williams, 49, of Calabasas was arrested on January 24, 2018 outside an urgent care facility in Thousand Oaks following an investigation that began with a doctor’s tip in November 2017. The doctor alerted law enforcement to Williams noting she was visiting many physicians throughout Southern California to, allegedly, fraudulently obtain controlled substances.
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation revealed Williams had visited 80 doctors during the past year from Orange County to Santa Barbara County. During those visits, Williams obtained about 3,600 dosage units of Schedule II pain killers (Oxycodone and Hydrocodone) and 1,100 dosage units of Schedule IV drugs such as Lorazepam. In Ventura County alone, Williams visited 25 different doctors from Simi Valley to Ojai.
Upon Williams’ arrest outside the urgent care in Thousand Oaks, detectives found paperwork from numerous other doctors who had recently prescribed Schedule II medications for Williams.
Williams was booked into custody at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Main Jail facility for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. This alleged criminal activity is commonly referred to as “doctor shopping.” The district attorney’s office elected to file 11 counts against Williams.
“Kudos to the doctor who tipped off law enforcement and to investigators who worked months on this case,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Doctors can view a patient’s prescription history using the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). CURES is a database that tracks dispensed controlled substance medications. Doctors and investigators can work together to decrease the amount of prescriptions written to help reduce abuse, overdose, and death from prescription drugs.”
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 Ventura Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, 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 overdoses due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use.