Appearing in an Angelina County judicial district court Thursday morning, Heather Terry, a former dental employee, pleaded guilty to three counts of prescription fraud for forging prescriptions of Hydrocodone.
As part of Terry's plea bargain deal, Terry's pending state-jail felony theft charge was dismissed. She has paid $2,575 in restitution for the theft.
As part of her plea bargain, Terry's theft charge was dismissed. She paid $2,575 in restitution for the theft.
Terry, 30, of Huntington, was sentenced to four years of probation under community supervision. She will not be allowed to leave Angelina County without permission.
During the court proceeding, Terry admitted to forging the prescriptions and taking the Hydrocodone. She said she had a previous prescription for them from past surgeries and dental work. She told Judge Barry Bryan that she is not on prescription drugs right now.
In January 2012, Terry turned herself into authorities after she was accused of forging prescriptions for Hydrocodone and Vicodin. She was charged with four counts of fraudulent possession of a controlled substance by prescription.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lufkin Police began investigating the crime on Dec. 22, when Dr. Amy Ross came to the department and reported that an employee was calling in or forging prescriptions using Ross' and Dr. David Palmer's numbers. Ross said Terry had been working for the office for more than eight years. Ross said a pharmacist called her and said that a large amount of Hydrocodone had been prescribed for Terry and her husband from Ross and Palmer.
Ross said neither she nor Palmer had ever written a prescription for that drug while Terry had been employed.
Ross then said she accessed records which showed 94 pills were written for Terry under Ross' name and all were without her knowledge.
Police took handwriting samples of Terry and concluded that it matched prescriptions written on May 25 at Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, located at 903 W. Frank St., for 40 Vicodin; on July 28 at Walgreens, located at 102 N. Timberland Drive, for 40 Vicodin; and on Aug. 3 at Brookshire Brothers, located at 1807 W. Frank St., for Vicodin.
Terry was released from the Angelina County Jail after she posted a collective bond of $20,000.
Then, in April 2012, Kelly and another former dental employee, Mary Dorsey, 43, of Huntington, were arrested for stealing dental gold from their employers and selling it to gold buyers. Terry and Dorsey were both charged with state-jail felony theft.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Dr. David Palmer with Palmer and Ross Dental Group, located at 111 Christie Drive, filed a report at the police station and claimed $5,000 in scrap gold pieces had been stolen from his office. Palmer said an employee had knowledge that Terry and Dorsey had stolen the scraps.
Police also interviewed a gold buyer for Borders Group. According to statements, the owner of the Posh Cottage in Lufkin held a gold party on Nov. 8, 2011, and Terry and Dorsey and another employee came into the party together. Before the buy took place, the third employee left the party. The buyer said Terry and Dorsey approached the buying table to sell the used dental gold and some unused dental gold pieces. The buyer said she asked the women where they had gotten so much gold and Dorsey told her she had worked for a dentist who had died recently and the gold was given to her.
The suspects sold the gold for $3,600, according to the affidavit. One witness said, "When we quoted the amount for the dental gold, they seemed shocked and said that they had more to sell at a later date. A statement was made by one of the girls not to tell the third girl how much money they made because she didn't help them that much."
Another party was held on Dec. 11, by Terry's mother. The buyer said as the party was drawing to a close, Terry's mother came to her and asked her to relocate to another residence. The buyer asked why and Terry's mother said because she did not want the owner of the home to know about the purchase "because she had a big mouth," according to the affidavit.
The buyer said they went to Terry's home and bought more gold. Terry said she did not have time to clean the gold and they offered to buy it for $1,750, according to the affidavit.
The buyer said, "This gold was unlike the previous dental gold that we had previously purchased. The previous gold had been separated from the porcelain and this gold had not. There was a particular piece that still had a tooth in it. The tooth still had blood on it."
Police interviewed Dorsey, who said she had gotten the gold from her previous employer's widow. An interview with the widow contradicted that statement.
The third employee took a polygraph test and said that the two suspects had stolen the gold from the business.
Police obtained a warrant for the arrests of both women on March 29. Both women were released from the Angelina County Jail after they each posted a bond of $3,500.
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