Just hours after being charged on six counts of felony drug-related charges Wednesday, the Ripley County chief deputy sheriff bonded out of jail.
David Pippin was charged with Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Deceit, after investigators say he filled prescriptions for Hydrocodone from five separate doctors in a two year period without disclosing that he was already prescribed.
“He turned himself immediately into the Ripley County Jail after being notified there had been a warrant issued in this investigation today,” explained Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills. Pippin has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending an internal investigation.
The charges came as a surprise to Sheriff Grills, who administered a 12-panel drug screen to his employees a few months ago.
“I had drug tested every employee in my office on September 17,” said Grills. “And everybody passed, Dave Pippin passed.”
Chief Deputy Pippin has been employed with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office since 1995 and has not received any disciplinary actions, the sheriff added.
An investigation into Pippin’s alleged prescription drug use was launched after his former sister-in-law notified Indiana State Police. Court documents also revealed that doctor’s office and pharmacy records were used to verify it.
According to Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel, doctors would not have prescribed Pippin had they known he was already receiving the hydrocodone prescriptions.
“He did not disclose this information to doctor’s that were prescribing him,” Hertel said.
Pippin filled prescriptions for 494 hydrocodone pills in a 55-day period in 2012, and 2,825 from August 2011 to July 2012, according to the court affidavit.
An initial hearing has not been set. If the case goes to trial, Hertel stated that it could be relocated to a different county.