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Franklin County woman jailed for using fake scripts to get painkillers


MASSENA - A Constable woman has been sentenced to serve 120 days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility after she admitted she had possessed a prescription at Kinney Drugs in Massena written under the fake name she had provided a physician’s assistant when she went to the emergency room in Ogdensburg complaining of back pain.

Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall also ordered Rachelle D. LaClair, 37, of 3979 state Route 37, Constable, to pay a $205 surcharge for her second-degree criminal impersonation conviction.

LaClair reportedly used fake scripts to get 30 Ultram 50 mg tablets on two separate occasions and attempt to fill a third prescription at the Massena store before a pharmacist discovered there was an alert warning there could be a problem when the Franklin County woman sought to get 30 more pills on the evening of Jan. 19.

Massena Village Police had charged LaClair with three felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and three misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal impersonation. Prosecutors later made a motion to have the felony counts reduced to misdemeanors and handled in local court. The criminal impersonation plea satisfied the other charges stemming from the incidents in Massena.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Allison Appleby asked the court to sentence LaClair to probation rather than jail time. She noted her client had been held on other charges at the Franklin County Jail since her arrest in Massena.

Ms. Appleby noted LaClair is still on probation in Franklin County and will be entering Franklin County Court’s 90-day substance abuse treatment program when she is released from jail. “I think my client is very serious about drug treatment, not only for herself but for her family,” she said.

Judge Crandall countered the pre-sentence investigation conducted by the Franklin County Probation Department had recommended additional jail time.

“The court has reviewed her criminal history, and it seems to support the belief she has a drug habit that is supported by criminal activity,” the local justice said before sentencing LaClair to four months in the county jail.

Police had alleged LaClair assumed the character of Creigh D. LaBier to obtain prescriptions for 30 Ultram tablets on Dec. 3 and again on Jan. 13 at Kinney Drugs in Massena. She also attempted to fill a third prescription for the medication on Jan. 19.

LaClair, in a statement she reportedly signed for police, admitted she had checked into Claxton-Hepburn Hospital emergency room on Dec. 3 under a fake name an fake birthdate.

“I made this name up as well as the date of birth. I told the ER staff that my back was bothering me and that I normally take Ultram for the pain. I did this on three separate occasions ...,” she noted in her statement.

LaClair said she then drove to Massena on those three dates to have the prescriptions filled at Kinney Drugs. “I used the fake name of Creigh D. LaBier on all three occasions,” she noted.

The Constable woman told police she had been addicted to prescription medications since 2010 when she was treated for three herniated discs in her lower back. “At first I was addicted to Oxy but then transitioned to Ultram. I really would like some help dealing with my addiction,” she noted in her statement.

Kinney Drug officials, in a statement they provided police, said an alert had been placed in their computer system warning pharmacists that a patient had been going to the Kinney Drugs store in Malone using several different aliases in an effort to obtain Tramadol. Store officials indicated LaClair had allegedly used aliases in an effort to have prescriptions filled at Kinney Drugs stores in Malone, Saranac Lake, Syracuse and Ogdensburg as well.

Village police were assisted in their investigation by the New York State Police.

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