FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) announces the arrest of Amy M. Armstrong of Woodstock. ARMSTRONG is a Registered Nurse employed by a hospice agency.
On Tuesday, August 23, Agents observed ARMSTRONG as she took pills from an elderly patient at the patient’s home. Agents had been alerted by a family member to the possible theft of the narcotic pain killers which the patient had been prescribed. When agents moved in to arrest ARMSTRONG they found more pills which included narcotic pain killers and anti-depressants. ARMSTRONG is charged with two counts of Felony Theft by Taking, two counts of Elder Abuse, two counts of Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance and a single count of Possession of a Schedule III Controlled Substance. Armstrong was turned over to the Cherokee Adult Detention Center.
Last month the GBI announced their analysis of autopsies performed by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in 152 counties in which drug overdose was the cause of death or a significant contributing factor in the death. The GBI found there was a 10% increase in the number of prescription overdose deaths in 2010 compared to 2009. Of the 729 drug overdose deaths in 2010, there were 560 deaths which involved only prescription drugs. The analysis also showed that 101 drug overdose deaths in 2010 involved only illicit drugs and sixty-eight (68) deaths were attributed to a combination of both prescription and illicit drugs.
In 2009, 508 of the 670 overdose deaths were attributed to prescription drugs only.
These figures, and the increase in arrests related to prescription medication, are the reason the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad has been targeting individuals who deal in prescription medications. Individuals may “Doctor Shop” or pass fraudulent prescriptions to obtain the highly sought after narcotic pain killers. Other, like ARMSTRONG, may steal the drugs from family members or others whom they have contact with. Prescription drugs are the number one drug problem in Cherokee County.
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad is a joint task force working in Cherokee County to investigate drug related violations. Participating agencies include the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the Canton Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Holly Springs Police Department, the Ball Ground Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, the Cherokee County BOE Police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Patrol. Citizens may call in tips anonymously to (770) 345- 7920, or may speak to an agent by calling (770) 704-2350.