Man denies charge of prescription fraud
BARRE — A Springfield man with a long criminal record has been charged with trying to pick up drugs prescribed to his dead father.
Matthew A. Pape, 38, pleaded not guilty to felony prescription fraud Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre. If convicted, he faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
According to the police affidavit, Pape went to the Medicine Shoppe in Barre and tried to pick up a bottle of the sedative clonazepam for his father, Phil Pape. A pharmacist told police Matthew Pape came into the pharmacy and said he had two prescriptions he was to pick up. After being told there were no prescriptions there for him, Pape placed the order for clonazepam, according to the affidavit. The pharmacist told police Pape asked how much the drug would cost and whether he could charge the drug instead of paying cash.
According to the affidavit, after Pape placed the order using a valid prescription refill, one of the pharmacists told the other pharmacist he thought Phil Pape was dead. The pharmacist told police she confirmed from online obituaries and the Vermont Medicaid portal that Phil Pape had died in October.
The pharmacist called police. The responding officer asked to see the prescription bottle the pharmacist had filled and she told him the police could keep the bottle because she had filled it with vitamin B, not the drug.
While in custody, police said, Pape did not understand why he was under arrest, as he was simply trying to get a list of all the medications his father had been taking in order to figure out “what had killed him,” police said.
Matthew Pape has 39 previous convictions, including felony prescription fraud in 2001, felony cocaine sale in 2009, driving under the influence for the third time, a felony, in 2003, and felony burglary in 1991.
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