Couple charged in alleged 'pill mill'

January 15, 2008 5:07:31 PM PST
It started with fake prescriptions and ended with a Fort Bend County couple facing felony charges. When authorities raided their home, they found thousands of pills and blank prescription forms, which appeared to already have a doctor's signature. But the couple is claiming they didn't do anything wrong.It was inside a Houston pain management clinic where Fort Bend sheriff's investigators say Paula Bolton, 46, was doling out prescriptions signed by a doctor no longer associated with the clinic. That's an allegation her husband Arthur Bolton firmly denies.

"My wife runs this clinic just the way she's supposed to because, with all this publicity trying to shut them down, you'd have to be crazy to violate the law and she wasn't," he told Eyewitness News.

Yet narcotics investigators arrested the couple Thursday after searching their Fort Bend County home. Authorities say they recovered hundreds of pharmaceutical pills -- including Hydrocodone, Soma and Xanax -- multiple vials and preloaded syringes of steroids. They also found hundreds of blank prescription forms which appeared to have been signed by a doctor.

As they dug deeper, investigators say they discovered an unusual number of people visiting the clinic were from Louisiana.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Milton Wright explained, "We suspect they were coming here to get the pills and the prescriptions, then taking them back and selling them on the street."

Arthur Bolton insists a former disgruntled employee planted the prescription forms in his house. He also claims his wife has a valid prescription for the drugs seized by investigators. He says neck surgery has left her constant pain. As for the steroids, Bolton claims his wife's illness has caused her muscles to deteriorate. He says she uses them to maintain body mass.

"I had a small amount for me," he added. "I'm 61 and I'm scared of getting old."

Bolton says he bought some of the steroids from someone at his gym and sees no harm in using them. In the meantime, the pain management clinic that Paula Bolton managed has been shut down. The Boltons are each charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

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