Woman faces 141 charges for alleged medication fraud
Suspect faces 3 dozen felony counts of identity theft
FARMINGTON — A Flora Vista woman faces 141 charges on allegations of fraudulently obtaining prescription medication at pharmacies across San Juan County.
Christina Talamante, 34, is accused of 67 felony charges, 56 misdemeanor charges and 18 pretty misdemeanor charges, according to court records.
She is accused of 36 fourth-degree felony counts of theft of identity, 31 fourth-degree felony counts of acquisition or attempt to acquire a controlled substance by misrepresentation, 41 misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, 15 misdemeanor counts of attempt to commit a felony (possession of a controlled substance), 17 petty misdemeanor counts of false application for insurance claims and one petty misdemeanor count of false application, claim or proof of loss, according to court records.
Graham Gurnee, Talamante's public defender, did not respond to requests for comment.
Talamante is accused of calling into local pharmacies to fraudulently obtain prescriptions of Tramadol, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Tramadol, used to treat pain, is a controlled substance.
She allegedly used fake names, the name of her husband Marlo Talamante and names of employees at local medical practices when making the phone calls.
During an interview with the detective on July 7, Talamante admitted to 14 times in which she fraudulently obtained Tramadol prescriptions between Nov. 2, 2016, and May 30, 2017, for a total of 610 pills.
Talamante pleaded not guilty to the charges during her first appearance in Farmington Magistrate Court on Jan. 11, according to court records.
Talamante told the detective she was addicted to Tramadol, taking more than 10 pills a day.
She also stated she would call in the prescriptions to area pharmacies by stating she was an employee of a local doctor's office.
The affidavit states Talamante previously worked at a doctor's office in Durango, Colo., where she would call in prescriptions for patients.
Some of the names of people Talamante is accused of using to fraudulently obtain Tramadol included doctors or employees at Piñon Family Practice, Orthopedic Associates and Presbyterian Medical Services, according to court documents.
As part of the investigation, the detective spoke to pharmacists in the area who alleged they received fraudulent orders for Tramadol from Talamante that were not filled out.
Talamante waived her preliminary hearing Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Courtm and the case was bound over to district court.
She was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Jan. 11 and released on her own recognizance Tuesday afternoon per a court order.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.