Local News

Disabled woman charged with selling her prescription drugs

Posted February 20, 2009

— A Hope Mills woman has been charged with selling drugs prescribed to her for a disability, authorities said Friday.

Cumberland County investigators said Deshana Maria Melvin, 33, of 4038 William Bill Luther Drive, sold her medications to undercover agents. She was charged with three counts each of trafficking of opium or heroin and conspiring to traffic in opium or heroin, and she was being held Friday in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $32,000 bond.

Melvin and Phillip Dean Cockrell were arrested Thursday in a parking lot in Hope Mills after undercover agents made a drug purchase, authorities said.

Authorities said Melvin would provide painkillers Oxycontin and Percocet and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax to Cockrell to sell them.

Cockrell, 50, of 2228 Baywood Road in Fayetteville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, trafficking in opium or heroin, maintaining a dwelling for the sale and delivery of cocaine, conspiring to traffic opium or heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held Friday in the Cumberland County Detention Center under an $82,000 bond.

Authorities said more arrests were expected as their investigation continues.


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  • 2beachy4u Feb 20, 2009

    Why was she getting false prescriptions to sale in the first place? I feel no pain for this woman. There are lots of places where she can get generic drugs very cheap. Her doctor needs to be notified and next time she needs a prescription, they should be very strict on her. People like her are why insurance is so high. Well, it's not for her since she's kicking it on Medicaid/Disability. This act shouldn't stop doctors from giving those prescriptions who actually need them. Most of the time, if you actually need disability, you won't get it but if you don't need it, the system will shuffle you on through and send you a check. What a joke it is!

  • CrewMax Feb 20, 2009

    Good Gosh. Is this really necessary? The woman doesn't sound like she was selling drugs to put spinners on her cadillac. It sounds like she was hurting. Is it necessary to do a sting on her? It must have been like shooting fish in a barrel for the cops.

  • Glass Half Full Feb 20, 2009

    Cease her benefits and make her get a job. That would be better than giving her another free ride on the system by putting her in jail to support her.

  • Common Sense Man Feb 20, 2009

    "The heroin charge comes from the oxycotton(sp?)."

    I've never heard of that.

  • cynsless1 Feb 20, 2009

    That is the way our system is set up, the people that need them the most can't get them.

  • Sunne Feb 20, 2009

    purrcard - I have never known anyone to get disability on the first try unless they were terminally ill. You wife truly sounds like she needs to be on disability. She can apply again and again until they approve her or she can get an attorney to fight her case for her. The attorneys only charge if she receives disability payments. Good Luck

  • blackdog Feb 20, 2009

    Anyone who is disabled and prescribed pain management drugs would not sell them. They are too important to the daily existence with chronic pain. Fraudulent claims have made it very hard for those who actually suffer, to get the medications actually needed. Doctors who will prescibe are very reluctant, or refuse to have to deal with the DEA on all of the paperwork required.

  • lovecarolinagutters Feb 20, 2009

    Due to a car accident that wasn't his fault my husband is permanently diabled. Yes, he receives disability and yes, he is in a pain clinic. He too is prescribed oxycontin and percocet. I can tell you first hand he would much rather be working and making what he use to make. He would never sell his pills because he needs them. As far as the cost for the medicine, disability/medicaid pays for them, the cost to us is $3.00 per prescription.
    I am fully aware that there are people who need to sell the meds in order to buy more. The cost for the pain meds is really high. But, I do know that the Oxycontins sell on the street for approximately $1.00 per milligram. In other words, if one has 10 40 mgram oxy's they could make close to $400.00. So, in this case I truly believe that this lady was making a profit on her meds. You can bet with the arrest, that gig is up.

  • purrcard Feb 20, 2009

    My wife has arthritis so bad, on some days she needs a cane to walk in the house; since her job required her to stand for hours at a time and with doctor support she applied for disability. Needless to say she is still working parttime and her boss allows her to sit down when she needs to but the disability was denied. The only thing that helps her with pain is steroids and the doctor doesn't want to prescribe them long term, but yet she can take the narcotic drugs.

  • Jokers Wild II Feb 20, 2009

    angora2 - Your Dr. doesnt sound very effective to me. That may be his choice to not prescribe any narcotics but there are ALOT of people that visit specialty clinics for pain. Imagine giving someone with chronic back and neck pain, or even cancer a Ibuprofen! Some people including my grandfather before he passed away relied on strong medication to keep him comfortable enough to rest. If you have never had any chronic pain that cripples you, you really can't say "The Dr. doesnt need to give out medicine". I am far from liberal but I know how expensive these pills are for the people and alot of times from being in Law Enforcement we have seen that GOOD people run out of resources and decide to sell their pills to HELP pay for their prescriptions.
    To put it in percpective for you, my grandfather was spending 800 dollars a month on prescription medicine. Do you know how much his SSI was? $231.00 is all! He could have easily fell behind without family! "judge not lest ye be judged!"