Ex-physician assistant, registered nurse, plead guilty to prescription drug charges

Carlisle/West Shore

A former physician assistant and a registered nurse have pleaded guilty to a plot to obtain Oxycodone and morphine pills.

Matthew Dows, 39, and Robert Garofalo, 31, both of Mechanicsburg, entered the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of obtaining controlled substances by deception and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

U.S. Attorney David Freed’s office said Dows, a physician assistant, and Garofalo, a registered nurse, conspired to obtain more than 7,470 medically unnecessary Oxycodone pills and 1,620 medically unnecessary morphine pills between February 2017 and March 2018.

Dows issued 67 prescriptions for Garofalo — and two others without their knowledge or consent  — and the pair then filled the prescriptions at pharmacies for their own use.

Prosecutors said after Dows was terminated from his employment in January, he wrote 11 more prescriptions for Oxycodone and morphine on counterfeit prescription forms.

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