A former employe of the Veterans Administration hospital in the District of Columbia and his 20-year-old son have been charged with using a false prescription to obtain amphetamines at a Fairfax County pharmacy.
Fairfax police spokesman Warren R. Carmichael said yesterday investigators also are checking pharmacies in neighboring Prince William County where other alleged violations may have occurred.
Arrested last Thursday at their Manassas home were Bobby Ralph Gipson, 44, of the 9500 block of Damascus Drive, a former manager at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, and his son, Richard Clifford Gipson.
Carmichael said the two men were charged with one count each following a police investigation of 23 alleged incidents over the last two years at a pharmacy in the Centreville area of the county and one incident at a drug store in Vienna.
Prescription fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Both men were arraigned July 6 before Fairfax General District Court Judge Martin E. Morris and released on $1,000 bond each. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 8.
Carmichael said yesterday police were aided by the Vienna pharmacist who received a "questionable" prescription from a young man three weeks ago for 50 tablets of Desoxyn, an amphetamine, valued by the pharmacy at $20.
Carmichael said the pharmacist called Vienna town police, who later notified Fairfax County narcotics and vice detectives. Police yesterday identified the young man as Richard Gipson.
The prescription was allegedly on a Veteran Hospital slip and bore the identification stamp and sticker of a doctor who no longer works at the hospital, according to Carmichael.
The pharmacist, Charles Hawthorne of Hawthorne's Pharmacy Ltd., 107 Maple Ave., Vienna, said yesterday the signature on the prescription was "unprofessional" and that the form was "badly overstamped."
"I've been in drug stores for 40 years and you develop a fell for these things," Hawthorne said.
Narcotics detectives conducted an extensive search of Fairfax County pharmacies that led them to a Centreville area drug store where they found 23 more allegedly false prescriptions for Desoxyn, Carmichael said. Police declined to identify the store.
"The prescriptions were written out to nonexistent people," usually in quantities of 50," Carmichael said. "The size indicates that the drug was for personal use. There is no indication that the drug was for personal use. There is no indication that the tablets were being sold again."
Gipson and his son were arrested by police from Fairfax and Prince William countries.
A spokesman for the Veterans Administration Medical Center said yesterday Gipson was employed for four years in a management position with the facility's rehabilitive medical service. He was fired last April 13 for allowing handicapped patients to use a swimming pool at the center without supervision, the spokesman said.
An appeals board yesterday upheld Gipson's firing, saying his action might have endangered the safety of the center's patients.