MILLERSBURG -- A Shreve woman on Wednesday, April 19, was sentenced to three years of probation for admittedly altering prescriptions for narcotics.
Jennifer Varnes, 40, of 327 N. Prospect St., previously pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to a single count of illegal processing of drug documents. In exchange for her guilty plea, a second count of illegal processing of drug documents and two counts of forgery were dismissed.
While she sought treatment in lieu of conviction, the request was derailed after she violated the terms of her bond by smoking marijuana.
While her bond violation introduced a prison factor, defense attorney Luke Brewer asked Judge Robert Rinfret to consider her otherwise clean criminal record when passing sentence.
Additionally, Brewer said, Varnes is the mother of two children, one of whom remains a juvenile and she is remorseful for admittedly changing the number of pills listed on a prescription to manage her own pain.
She told Rinfret she did so because "I was in a lot of pain with my shoulder and my back."
Citing Varnes' record, Rinfret imposed a 14-month prison term, which he immediately suspended in favor of three years of community control sanctions.
"This is really a stupid thing you did," he said, adding, "That 14 months is over your head. Don't smoke dope. Your son wants you home."
The Millersburg Police Department launched an investigation after being contacted by a doctor from the Pomerene Hospital emergency room. The doctor indicated he treated Varnes in the emergency room on Aug. 18, at which time he prescribed her three Percocet pills, said Patrolman Jeff Lay.
In reviewing Varnes' prescription history with the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, the doctor said he noticed that during an earlier visit he prescribed Varnes an unusually high number of Percocet in June, which prompted him to pull and compare the pharmaceutical records with the hospital notes, according to Lay.
According to the notes, the doctor had prescribed Varnes five pills, but at a Shreve pharmacy she filled a prescription for 15 pills, said Lay, who said the inconsistency prompted him to check Varnes' pharmaceutical records following the most recent visit. They indicated she had filled a prescription for 30, rather than 3, pills.
Confronted about the alleged manipulation of the prescriptions, Varnes denied any wrongdoing and said she presented both prescriptions as given to her, said Lay.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or email@example.com.