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Hampstead woman charged with narcotics distribution

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- Original Credit: (HANDOUT)

A Hampstead woman is charged with allegedly distributing prescription drugs obtained by fraud, following a joint investigation by the Hampstead police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Laura Christine Vanhorn, of the 1700 block of Upper Forde Lane, is charged with two counts each of possessing a narcotic with intent to distribute, obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud and related charges, according to charging documents. Because of discrepancies between the charging documents and electronic court files, Vanhorn's age is unclear.

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Vanhorn was arrested and taken to Carroll County Central Booking on Thursday and released on Friday after posting a $10,000 bond.

The charges resulted from an investigation lasting more than three months by the Hampstead police and Baltimore DEA's Tactical Diversion Squad, which allegedly found that Vanhorn was seeing multiple physicians, using an alias and visiting multiple pharmacies in order to obtain unusual amounts of prescription drugs, according to charging documents.

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Between January and August, Vanhorn filled prescriptions for a total of 1,380 pills of Xanax, according to charging documents, and a total of 1,142 pills of the opioid narcotic oxycodone. This volume of pills is more than an average individual could safely consume in the span of seven months, according to the charging documents, which led investigators to believe Vanhorn was distributing the medications to others, noting that the combined street value of the pills is estimated between $12,372 and $19,700.

Vanhorn allegedly filled some prescriptions at Weis Pharmacy in Hampstead using a health insurance prescription and the occasional alias Laura Euler, according to charging documents; she filled other prescriptions at the Walmart pharmacy in Greenmount using only the name "Vanhorn" and paid in cash.

Two of the four physicians who were seeing Vanhorn as a patient told investigators they were not aware she was seeing more than one physician and that they would not have prescribed her Xanax and oxycodone if they had known another physician was doing the same, according to charging documents.

Hampstead police and DEA agents served a search warrant at Vanhorn's residence Thursday and allegedly found her most recently filled prescriptions: an empty bottle of 60 Xanax pills that had been filled on Tuesday, according to charging documents; a bottle of 120 oxycodone pills, also filled on Tuesday, contained 97 pills.

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After being read her rights, Vanhorn agreed to speak with investigators and told them that she had to hide her medications from her friends and family and that she often forgot where she hid them, according to charging documents, adding that she saw two doctors and did "not have a pill problem," according to charging documents.

Later in the course of the interview with investigators, Vanhorn requested an attorney, according to charging documents.

Electronic court records do not list an attorney for Vanhorn, and a phone number for her could not be located to seek comment.

410-857-3317

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