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Officer arrested for obtaining painkiller

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By Susan K. Schmeichel
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003

A North Versailles police officer has been arrested on charges that he illegally obtained a prescription painkiller from a Fox Chapel pharmacy.

The state Attorney General's Office said Craig Arture, 34, of Brilliant Avenue, Aspinwall, was arrested after an investigation by the state Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Arture is charged with one count of violating the state's drug act. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison. He was arraigned Thursday before Pittsburgh District Justice Elissa M. Lang and was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13.

North Versailles Township Commissioner Frank Bivins said Arture, who has been a part-time officer with the township for almost a year, had never been in trouble before.

"He will most definitely be suspended," Bivins said.

According to the Attorney General's Office, Arture, while in his North Versailles police uniform, attempted to get a prescription of Hydrocodone filled at the Eckerd Pharmacy on Freeport Road on Oct. 4.

Arture allegedly told the pharmacist that he had to get the prescription transferred from one pharmacy to another and gave the pharmacist an empty prescription bottle from CVS pharmacy with the customer name Jim Jackson.

The pharmacist became suspicious and only gave Arture 23 tablets, police said. Arture tried twice to get the remaining pills before being arrested by O'Hara Township police Oct. 9.

Narcotics agents said that Arture allegedly obtained a prescription for the drug over the Internet by claiming to be Jim Jackson. He allegedly contacted a Florida doctor who practices over the Internet.

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