Five booked in ‘purple drank’ investigation

Authorities arrested a group of current and former employees of a Plaquemine health clinic accused of accepting money during the past six months in exchange for obtaining fraudulent prescriptions for drugs used to make “purple drank.”

Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug concoction using ingredients of prescription-strength cough syrup.

The five people arrested Thursday, all current or former nurses of Prime Health LLC, a medical clinic in Plaquemine, are accused of calling in prescriptions for drugs used in cough syrup then selling the drugs for between $40 and $50 an ounce, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

The bottles of promethazine, a sedative, and codeine, a pain reliever and cough suppressant, ranged in size from a few ounces to up to 16 ounces, meaning those arrested could have netted tens of thousands of dollars in the alleged drug ring.

Stassi, in a news release, said more arrests are expected in this investigation, which is being conducted by sheriff’s deputies and agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Law Enforcement Against Drugs Task Force made up of Iberville deputies and Plaquemine police officers.

Stassi said the doctors at the Plaquemine clinic fully cooperated with the investigation.

The five people arrested Thursday and booked into the Iberville Parish Jail are:

Shaneice Coleman, 24, 6630 Siegen Lane, Apt. 286, Baton Rouge, on 12 counts of obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud, two counts of obtaining legend drugs by fraud, nine counts of distribution of Schedule V narcotics and one count of conspiracy to distribute Schedule V narcotics.

Michael Williams, 24, 6630 Siegen Lane, Apt. 286, Baton Rouge, on nine counts of obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud and one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute Schedule V narcotics.

Juanita Collins, 42, 54805 Mayor Doc Foley St., White Castle, on six counts of obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud and one count of obtaining legend drugs by fraud.

Jerek Scott, 25, 55150 Aucoin St., White Castle, on six counts of obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud and three counts of obtaining legend drugs by fraud.

Stephanie Robinson, 30, 32590 Leona Drive, White Castle, on nine counts of obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud.