9 arrested in multi-county prescription pill conspiracy

9 arrested in multi-county prescription pill conspiracy

Posted:
Sammy Russell (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Office) Sammy Russell (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Nine people have been arrested in connection with a drug conspiracy investigation involving the possession and distribution of illegally obtained controlled substances in Sevier and Jefferson counties stemming from a prescription pad stolen from a Knoxville hospital in 2010.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate in August 2010. TBI officials uncovered that while working as a registered nurse at Covenant Health, Stephanie Ann McMahan, 34, stole prescription pads from the hospital and then gave them to her then-husband, Sammy Russell, 39.

Officials say Russell used the blank pads to create fake prescriptions and then recruited people to pass the forged prescriptions to obtain controlled substances.

Those who participated received a portion of the pills as payment.

A Sevier County grand jury indicted all nine individuals involved in September 2013.

McMahan was indicted on one count of conspiracy to sell and/or deliver. Russell was indicted on 15 counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to sell or deliver, and 15 counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.

In addition to McMahan and Russell, Bradley Justin Taylor, 30; Nathan Andrew Raney, 38; Steven Charles Smith, 27; Tommy Matthew Tadlock, 27; Eric Vinson Sobol, 36; Mark Kenneth Whitley, 34; and Christopher Dailey, 30, have all been arrested in connection with the conspiracy.

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