By David Hedges, Publisher

A Calhoun County couple was charged with pretending to represent a doctor's office and phoning in their own prescription to a local drug store.

The case was one of five presented to a Roane grand jury last week involving prescription drugs, a problem local police say has been on the increase.

In fact, the number of indictments in prescription cases returned by this jury outnumbered those for either marijuana or methamphetamine.

That included the couple that allegedly posed as being from a doctor's office in an effort to get alprazolam. The drug sold under the trade name Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, but is one of a number of prescription drugs subject to abuse. Several others include painkillers.

Heather D. Marks, 34, and Douglas W. Marks, 37, of Orma were each charged with attempting to fraudulently obtain goods by false pretenses and conspiracy, both felony charges.

The charges allege Heather Marks, at the urging of her husband, phoned Fruth Pharmacy in Spencer in July, when she impersonated a nurse from the Roane General Medical Clinic to request a prescription.

Pharmacy workers became suspicious, and instead of filling the prescription, alerted authorities.

Spencer Police Dept. Patrolman John Caldwell investigated and presented his findings to the grand jury, which determines if there is enough evidence to allow the charges to go to trial.


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