Two from Lehigh County charged with diverting prescription drugs
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of two individuals from Lehigh County charged with diverting prescription drugs.
One of the suspects is a woman accused of writing prescriptions for drugs without a medical license. The other is a man accused of stealing morphine from the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Cedar Crest Campus.
A drug diversion occurs when a prescribed substance is diverted from its intended path of distribution. The Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation investigates such cases and is mandated by law with enforcing the provisions of the state’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
Below is a list of the defendants arrested this week:
- Lisabeth A. Cerciello, 48, 2887 Edgemont Drive, Allentown.
- Adam James Snyder, 25, 7930 State Route 873, Slatington.
Cerciello is charged with 15 counts each of delivery of a controlled substance, improper use of a registration number and practicing medicine without a license, as well as one count of identity theft.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators with the Office of Attorney General started their investigation of Cerciello after receiving information from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
It was determined that Cerciello, the daughter of a licensed physician, allegedly used her father’s prescription pad to write prescriptions for at least seven people while her father was hospitalized. Cerciello does not have a medical license and was not registered through the DEA to prescribe controlled substances, investigators alleged in the criminal complaint.
The prescriptions she allegedly prescribed were for Methylphenidate and Adderall, which are used in many cases to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Investigators also allege that Cerciello prescribed Suboxone and Buprenorphine, which are used to treat opioid addiction.
A search of Cerciello’s home, where her father practiced medicine, allegedly revealed records that show Cerciello saw at least seven patients while her father was hospitalized. The prescriptions she is charged with writing were made out in October and November of last year.
Cerciello appeared Wednesday for a preliminary arraignment, at which point her bail was set at $20,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8.
The case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christie Bonesch of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.
Snyder is charged with one count each of acquisition or possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, and possession of a controlled substance.
The Office of Attorney General began its investigation of Snyder after receiving a report from personnel at the Lehigh Valley Health Network. It was determined that Snyder, who worked security at the network’s Cedar Crest Campus, had stolen keys that allowed him access to prescription drugs at the facility, investigators allege.
That led Snyder to allegedly steal six vials of morphine, a painkiller. Snyder’s alleged criminal acts occurred in January of this year.
Snyder appeared Wednesday for a preliminary arraignment. His bail was set at $15,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8.
The case will be prosecuted by the office of Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin.