Police say Chicago resident tried to use fake prescriptions

GREENFIELD — A Chicago woman is wanted in Hancock County after trying to purchase 300 doses of codeine cough syrup with a fraudulent prescription, according to court records.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Brenda K. McHerron, 23, 9713 South Wood St., Chicago police said. McHerron visited a Greenfield pharmacy twice to pick up drugs prescribed to someone else — a woman who had never been issued the medication and did not know the physician listed on the prescription, according to charging documents.

McHerron now faces two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deceit, a Level 6 felony, in Hancock Superior 2.

In October, McHerron visited the Greenfield CVS Pharmacy, 1233 N. State St., to pick up a prescription for 10 capsules of an antibiotic and 300 doses of Promethazine, an antihistamine cough syrup that contains the narcotic, codeine, charging documents state.

Promethazine is commonly referred to among drug users as Purple Drank when users take large amounts of it as a recreational drug, police said.

The prescription, which had not been written for McHerron, had not yet been filled, and McHerron wasn’t able to pick it up, the pharmacist told police.

Later, the pharmacy contacted the patient the prescription was written for, a Greenfield resident, to tell her the medication was ready for pickup. The woman informed the employee she had not been prescribed the medications nor had she visited the physician who wrote the prescription, records state.

When the CVS pharmacist checked INSPECT, Indiana’s prescription monitoring database, she learned the same two prescriptions had been written for that patient before. They were picked up on Aug. 25 by McHerron, who had to show her ID because the codeine syrup is a controlled substance, according to court documents.

The patient listed on the prescriptions told police whoever picked up the medication also used her insurance information to pay for them, charging documents state.

Police found a phone number for McHerron and called her to ask about the prescriptions she tried to pick up.

A search warrant for the data on McHerron’s cellphone pinpointed her location on Oct. 11, the day she unsuccessfully tried to fill the prescription at CVS, documents state.

Her cellphone’s location shows she traveled south on Interstate 65 and then toward Greenfield. The device was near the CVS for a bit before it went back the way it came, according to charging documents.

McHerron, who called back a detective who’d left a message for her, didn’t deny having visited the pharmacy, court records state.

She was trying to pick up a prescription for a girl she didn’t know while visiting a friend in Indianapolis, she said. The girl told McHerron she needed to get the prescription filled for her mother and did not have her ID with her, she told police.

As a good deed, McHerron decided to pick up the prescription for the woman, she told police.

The Level 6 felony McHerron faces carries a penalty of six months to two and a half years and up to $10,000 in fines.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.