Former Home Health Care Workers Charged In Undercover Drug Investigation

Smithville Police have charged three former Home Healthcare workers accused of using the identities of their former patients to obtain prescriptions drugs.
Chief Thomas Stufano says 22 year old Breanna Rippetoe of 848 Foster Road, Smithville, 22 year old Jason Chapman of 212 North Mill Street, Dowelltown, and 34 year old Patsy McCoy-Estes of 632 Frazier Street, Smithville were arrested on Monday night around 9:45 p.m. and charged with drug fraud, facilitation of a felony, and theft under $500.
Chief Stufano says “The case has been under investigation for approximately two weeks when police learned of an elaborate scheme involving persons formerly working in the home healthcare business taking the identities of their former patients so that prescription narcotics could be obtained.
Officers had set up two different surveillances to monitor the activities of the arrested individuals. After a pattern was established, contact was made with the local pharmacy and a drug sting was initiated.
Officers set up around the perimeter of the business and substituted placebo or non-narcotic pills for the real narcotics in case the suspects eluded police. After the subjects entered the pharmacy and took possession of the intended narcotics, detectives arrested them. Stufano says the trio was attempting to purchase 100 Hydocodone pills. During the arrest, it was also learned that the two females had also stolen merchandise from Jewel’s Market just prior to going to the pharmacy. Detectives were able to recover the stolen items from the suspect’s car including a rifle from the front seat and additional narcotics.
Chief Stufano says all three of the persons arrested were processed and transported to the DeKalb County Jail. Both Chapman and McCoy’s bonds were set at $7,500 and Rippetoe’s bond was set at $5,000. Two vehicles were also seized under the State’s Drug Forfeiture Act.
Meanwhile, in a separate investigation, Chief Stufano says “On Sunday, Smithville Police Officers responded to a two car motor vehicle accident at Highway 70 and Highway 56. Upon arrival and investigation, Officers determined that one of the drivers, 42 year old Kevin Leonard of 207 West Woodlawn Street, Smithville had been under the influence while driving resulting in the accident. He was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (2nd offense), Simple Possession, and Possession of Drug Parphernalia. His bond was set at $14,000.”
Chief Stufano says officers were able to recover a syringe and narcotics from the area of a bush after Leonard had tried to conceal the items. Also arrested at the scene was 24 year old Chastity Leonard of 207 West Woodlawn charged with Public Intoxication and Simple Possession of an illegal narcotic. She was booked into the DeKalb County Jail with a bond set at $3,500. Leonard’s vehicle was seized under the State DUI 2nd Offender guidelines.
On Friday, Smithville Police, in partnership with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office conducted the first of three scheduled DUI Checkpoints for the holiday season. Police stopped over 80 cars during the event with most driver’s appreciative of the vigilant support to keep them safe. Driver’s were handed informational packets about DUI and Seatbelt Safety. The Sobriety Checkpoint did produce arrests for DUI, No Driver’s License, a violation of the Open Container Law.
There are two more checkpoints scheduled between the partnering Police agencies. Law Enforcement is committed to aggressively arresting those individuals that put our driving public in jeopardy. If you drink and drive you will not drive. Smithville Police are requesting all citizens to report Drunk Driving and make this holiday season safe and accident free.

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