City health center worker busted for allegedly selling prescription pills

Posted: August 03, 2012

In late 2009, Maria Josey ?collected? several thousand dollars in overtime on top of her annual salary of $32,000 at the city's Department of Health. But federal prosecutors alleged Thursday that she also had a little side business—peddling prescription painkillers.

Josey, 46, of Francisville, was arrested Thursday morning and later appeared before U.S. Magistrate Jacob Hart on drug-distribution and related charges. ?Hart ordered that she be detained pending a bail hearing on Aug. 7.

Federal prosecutors said that Josey, who worked as a clerk typist at Health Center No. 5, on? 20th Street near Berks in North Philadelphia, took blank prescription pads from doctors at the health center and then sold prescriptions to seven individuals? between September 2009 and March 2010.

The indictment said that Josey distributed 630 tablets of 80-milligram OxyContin, 220 tablets of Percocet and 120 tablets of Endocet?. The painkillers are among some of the most widely abused prescription drugs, authorities say.

According to city payroll records, Josey began working for the city in December 1987 and worked there until 2010, when she was fired?, said the city's Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, whose office initially began the investigation. A report by Kurland's office said that Josey sold single prescriptions for $25 each and allegedly forged physicians' signatures and vouched for her buyers when pharmacists called to verify prescriptions for OxyContin and other drugs.

Shewas arrested by Philadelphia police in July 2010 and let out on bail ahead of trial. The feds then adopted the case.? If convicted of all charges, she potentially faces 63 to 78 months in federal prison under advisory sentencing guidelines.

Contact Michael Hinkelman at 215-854-2656 or hinkelm@phillynews.com . Follow him on Twitter @MHinkelman .

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|