Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel charged Chief Deputy Sheriff Joe “David” Pippin with 6 Counts of Class D Felony, Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Deceit on Wednesday.
According to a press release from the Ripley County Prosecutors Office, an Indiana State Police investigation revealed that Pippin acquired and filled prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Schedule II Controlled Substance, from 5 separate medical practitioners at multiple pharmacies in less than a 2-year period without disclosing that he was already prescribed hydrocodone.
Hydrocodone is a highly addictive well-known opiate-based drug of abuse.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, filed by an ISP Detective, Pippin’s prescription drug use was brought to the attention of law enforcement by his ex-sister-in-law.
“Doctor’s office and pharmacy records were used by law enforcement to verify Pippin’s prescription drug use. The Affidavit of Probable Cause states that in one 55-day period in 2012 Pippin filled prescriptions for 494 hydrocodone pills. The Affidavit of Probable Cause also states that in a 57-day period in 2013 Pippin filled prescriptions for 424 hydrocodone pills. In total, from August 25, 2011, to July 12, 2013, Pippin filled prescriptions for 2,825 hydrocodone pills. Multiple practitioners told investigators that had they known Pippin was already prescribed hydrocodone they would not have prescribed Pippin additional hydrocodone,” Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel said in a news release.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, Pippin told investigators that he didn’t view himself as a “doctor shopper”, but the records indicating prescriptions by multiple practitioners filled at multiple pharmacies might suggest otherwise, prosecutors said.
According to the news release, Pippin stated that he did not want people knowing that he was taking hydrocodone and it was his “dirty little secret.” Pippin admitted to investigators “obviously, I do have a problem” and referred to the interview as a “moment of clarity.” Pippin stated if he quits taking the hydrocodone pills he would “have withdrawals because of the physical dependency, physical and psychological.”
Prosecutor Hertel stated that prescription drug abuse has become an increasing issue in the county and the enforcement of prescription drug abuse is serious wherever it is discovered. Hertel complimented the Indiana State Police and their professionalism in their investigation of this sensitive matter.
Pippin is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.