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Retired Watertown policeman pleads guilty to stealing ID to get prescription drugs while on force

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  August 13, 2013 02:35 PM

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A retired Watertown police officer faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after he pleaded guilty today in federal court to stealing an ID while on the force and using it to get oxycodone and other prescription drugs, according to United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office.

Joseph Deignan, 58, of Framingham was convicted today at his plea hearing of unlawful possession of a controlled substance by fraud and fraud in connection with identification documents, according to a statement from Ortiz's office. Judge Douglas P. Woodlock set Deignan's sentencing for 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

Federal authorities said that before Deignan retired from the police force in February 2012, he stole a driver's license from an individual while working as a traffic supervisor for the Watertown Police Department in 2010 and used it to forge prescriptions for oxycodone and other drugs in the victim's name.

Deignan forged over 100 prescriptions using various doctors’ information since May 2010, and used the stolen ID to fill the scripts, authorities said.

According to an affidavit obtained from the US Attorney's office in March, Deignan traveled to at least three different CVS pharmacies to fill the prescriptions, 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.

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

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