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Owners and Employees of Local Pain Clinic Indicted for Illegal Prescription Drug Distribution

Nine people arrested in DEA Investigation

SEP 26 (TUCSON)–The Drug Enforcement Administration announced today felony charges against the owners and employees of Embrace Health and Pain Management Clinic  in Tucson, Arizona.  The charges arise from a 21-month investigation against two nurse practitioners who issued multiple prescriptions of powerful and addictive controlled substances, primarily Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.  A total of 15 felony counts were filed against nine employees including the two nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners Elizabeth D. Capotosti and Kathleen A. Karazewski issued numerous prescriptions with little or no physical examinations.  The drugs were then being resold to known street dealers for further distribution throughout Southern Arizona.  
 “Prescription drug abuse is a dangerous and growing problem in Arizona,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.  “Those who perpetuate this problem by trafficking in prescription drugs are drug dealers; no different than those who peddle cocaine and methamphetamine in our streets.  DEA and its partners will stand firm on its commitment to investigate and prosecute these type of illegal medical practices and prevent controlled substances from being diverted into the wrong hands and endangering the health of our citizens.”
The counts listed in the Indictment are: 

Count One:  Conspiracy to Possess for Sale and/or Sell a Narcotic Drug, a Class Two Felony
Count Two:  Conspiracy to Possess for Sale and/or Sell a Narcotic Drug, a Class Two Felony
Count Three:  Conspiracy to Possess for Sale and/or Sell a Dangerous Drug, a Class two Felony
Class Four:  Conspiracy to Possess for Sale and/or Sell a Dangerous Drug, a Class Two Felony
Class Five:  Possession for Sale and/or Sell a Narcotic Drug, a Class Two Felony
Class Six:  Possession for Sale and/or Sell a Narcotic Drug, a Class Two Felony
Class Seven:  Possession for Sale and/or Sell a Dangerous Drug, a Class Two Felony
Class Eight:  Possession for Sale and/or Sell a Dangerous Drug, a Class Two Felony
Class Nine:  Money Laundering in the First Degree, a Class Two Felony
Class Ten:  Illegal Control of an Enterprise, a Class Three Felony
Class Eleven:  Illegal Control of an Enterprise, a Class Three Felony
Class Twelve:  Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, a Class Three Felony
Class Thirteen:  Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a Class Two Felony
Class Fourteen:  Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a Class Two Felony
Class Fifteen:  Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a Class Two Felony
 
The following nine defendants were indicted on September 16, 2013 by a Grand Jury in Pima County Superior Court:

  • Elizabeth D. Capotosti, Owner and Nurse Practitioner
  • Kathleen A. Karaszewski, Nurse Practioner
  • Alyssa Asch-McElmurry, Owner
  • Kim D. Gonzalez, Office Manager
  • Jorge Gonzalez, Security Guard
  • Joseph Epperson, Staff Member
  • Albaluz Portugal, Staff Member
  • Santos M. Guillen Jr., Staff Member
  • Adam A. Rosales, Staff Member

All defendants were arrested from September 16, 2013 through September 25, 2013 and remain in custody at Pima County Jail in Tucson.
If anyone has information concerning the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs, please contact the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad at (520) 573-5500.

This case was investigated by the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad which is a Task Force consisting of members from the DEA, the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Attorney’s Office and the South Tucson Police Department.  The case will be prosecuted by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

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