Pinellas VA surgeon arrested on drug charges
A St. Petersburg surgeon has been arrested after being accused of writing fraudulent Valium prescriptions for himself, the Pinellas County Sheirff's Office said. Investigators received information Monday about a prescription fraud case involving a doctor, deputies said. According to the information, Richard Carpenter, 58, 180 Beach Drive, Apt. No.1501, had called in several fraudulent Valium prescriptions for himself since October. Carpenter used an acquaintance doctor's name and DEA number to obtain the prescriptions, and used his health care insurance to offset the cost of the prescription, according to the information, deputies said. Carpenter, who worked at Bay Pines VA Health Care System, obtained at least 500 Valium 5 mg pills and had attempted to obtain more before his arrest, deputies said.Carpenter was arrested Wednesday was charged with five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. The investigation is continuing.