The pastor of a Madison Township church faces charges in Painesville Municipal Court that he used the identity of a member of his congregation to procure prescription pain medication.
According to Lt. Ed Ebert of the Lake County Narcotics Agency, the Rev. David S. Reed, 38, of 6124 Maxwell Drive, Madison Township, is charged with three fifth-degree felony counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug and three first-degree misdemeanor counts of identity fraud.
Reed is pastor of Chapel United Methodist Church, 2019 Hubbard Road.
Ebert said the narcotics agency made quick work of the case, largely through the help of an astute pharmacist.
"What happened was, (Reed) used the name of one of his parishioners who is a doctor," Ebert said. "And he managed to pick up three prescriptions for Darvocet. He claimed he was Dr. so-and-so, and even knew the guy's DEA number and all the right information."
Ebert said it was Reed's fourth attempt to fill the bogus prescription that aroused the pharmacy's suspicions.
"The fourth time he called, the girl that answered knew the doctor he was claiming to be and she recognized that the voice over the phone wasn't his," the lieutenant said.
Ebert said the pharmacy employee then called the actual doctor's office and asked whether he was phoning in these prescriptions.
"She was sharp enough to catch that," Ebert said. "That actually happens a lot around here. We have a lot of really sharp pharmacists who know when things just don't seem right and they'll often call us."
Ebert said Reed cooperated fully with the agency's investigation and admitted to the charges from the start.
"He's been very cooperative with us and with our investigation," Ebert said.
According to an affidavit filed in Painesville Municipal Court, the activities of which Reed is accused happened at Rite Aid Pharmacy, 6655 N. Ridge Road in Madison Township on Dec. 31, Jan. 8 and Jan. 10.
Reed, reached by phone Friday afternoon at his residence, said he suffers chronic pain, largely due to several surgeries he's undergone in the past.
"I've got a grocery list of health problems," Reed said. "The main thing I'm dealing with is chronic abdominal pain ..."
He said he is between health care providers and, due to a lag in paperwork transmission between doctor's offices, he was unable to get the medication he needed.
"I couldn't get anything from my doctor," he said. "I'm between pain management doctors right now and it's just taking time for the proper paperwork to go through."
Reed was arraigned Friday by Acting Painesville Municipal Court Judge David Koerner. He is free on a $3,500 personal recognizance bond.
He is due back in court at 9:30 a.m. March 13 for a pretrial and preliminary hearing, court records show.
Each fifth-degree felony count carries from six to 12 months' confinement and up to a $2,500 fine. Each first-degree misdemeanor count carries up to 180 days' confinement and up to a $1,000 fine.
Reed said Friday that he plans to continue his work at the church.