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Former Watertown police officer allegedly used stolen ID to get prescription drugs, federal authorities say

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  March 5, 2013 12:40 PM

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A former Watertown police officer is facing federal charges that he allegedly stole an ID while he was on the force and used it to get oxycodone and other prescription drugs, according to United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Federal authorities say Joseph Deignan, 57 of Framingham, allegedly stole a driver's license from an individual while he was working as a traffic supervisor for the Watertown Police Department in 2010.

Deigan was charged in federal court today with unlawful possession of a controlled substance by fraud and fraud in connection with identification documents.

The maximum sentence under the identity theft charges is 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to authorities.

Deignan, who retired from the police force in 2012, is accused of using the ID to forge prescriptions for oxycodone and other drugs in the victim's name, authorities said.

According to an affidavit from the US Attorney's office, Deignan allegedly filled over 100 prescriptions using the false identity since May 2010, traveling to at least three different CVS pharmacies to do so, including ones located in Framingham and Marlborough.

According to the affidavit, a Framingham CVS pharmacist alerted the authorities of possible prescription fraud in November. Deignan was arrested in early December at a CVS pharmacy in Marlborough after employees were informed of the situation by police, according to the affidavit.

When he was arrested, Deignan allegedly told Marlborough officers that he was addicted to pain medication, and had been for some time, according to the affidavit.

An investigation found that Deignan was traffic supervisor the night the victim was pulled over in Watertown. Since the individual's license was suspended, Watertown Police Department protocol required the officer pulling him over to confiscate the license and attach it to a report forwarded to the night's supervisor, who was Deignan at the time, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also cites an interview with an unnamed Watertown police captain, who said Deignan allegedly told him following his arrest that he took the license from the police department while he was still a traffic officer there.

The captain also said Deignan allegedly told him that he had a prescription drug problem, and that he used at least two different female doctors' names to forge prescriptions.

Watertown Police Department officials could not be reached for comment, but a statement from the US Attorney's office said the local department has been cooperating with federal authorities on the case.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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