WILMINGTON – A former Wilmington police officer will stand trial in February for allegedly “doctor shopping.”
Melissa Myers, 37, of Centerville, is charged with four counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs in the fifth degree and two counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs in the fourth degree.
The drugs Myers is alleged of obtaining through deception are tramadol and hydrocodone. According to court papers, there allegedly were seven times Myers obtained dangerous drugs through deception between December 2012 and April 2013.
Myers had a pre-trial hearing Monday after it was moved from Aug. 30.
“This case has a lengthy history,” said Clinton County Court of Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck.
When the case was filed, Myers was initially placed on leave from the Wilmington Police Department. In summer 2013, though, she was fired after a disciplinary hearing led to finding she had “violated administrative policies,” Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand said previously.
The last hearing was scheduled for March 17 but was canceled due to a motion filed with the 12th District Court of Appeals.
The motion was filed to reverse a ruling by Rudduck to exclude drug database information in Myers’ case.
At the same time, the 12th District Court of Appeals affirmed a local decision that denied that same officer’s request to dismiss the indictment.
The appellate court judges reversed Clinton County Common Pleas Judge Rudduck’s decision to exclude all evidence obtained in a warrantless search of Myers’ prescription information stored on a prescription database.
A Greater Warren County Drug Task Force detective conducted the search for Myers’ prescription information.
The Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, or OARRS, was the database searched during the investigation and is meant “to monitor the misuse” of controlled substances, according to Ohio statute.
The database was created by the state board of pharmacy and access to it is restricted to law enforcement officers investigating a targeted person, according to Ohio statute.
Investigators either should have obtained a court-issued search warrant to look at pharmacy records or showed “some recognized exception” to the warrant requirement, Rudduck said.
In reaching its judgment to reverse, the appeals court cited a 1992 Ohio Supreme Court case dealing with an individual’s prescription records. Prescription records contained in a pre-OARRS system could be inspected by law enforcement and board of pharmacy employees without a warrant, the appeals court stated in its written opinion on Myers’ case.
A two-day jury trial was scheduled Feb. 25 and 26 starting at 9 a.m.
Reach Dylanne Petros at 937-382-2574, ext. 2514, or on Twitter @DylannePetros.
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