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Physician assistant among 2 charged in prescription drug case

A medical physician assistant and a Clearfield County man were charged by the Pennsylvania Attorney General for conspiring in a prescription drug arrangement. (MGN)

CLEARFIELD - A medical physician assistant and a Clearfield County man were charged by the Pennsylvania Attorney General for conspiring in a prescription drug arrangement.

Holly Jean Hipps, 41, of Olanta, and Dennis Lingle, 60, of Clearfield, are facing several felony counts including conspiracy, acquiring or obtaining possession of controlled substance by misrepresentation and administration of controlled substance by practitioner.

Court documents state Hipps was writing prescriptions with an expired DEA registration and expired medical license, both of which expired in 2016.

The Attorney General's office found Hipps was writing prescriptions for drugs like hydrocodone, xanax, percocet and oxycodone.

Police said Hipps wrote prescriptions for three people who were not her patients at the Caring Healthcare Network in Philipsburg.

Court documents show Hipps wrote some prescriptions from the facility in Philipsburg but most were written from her home address with the DEA number crossed out and rewritten.

Albert Bruno, administrator of Caring Healthcare Network, said Hipps has not been employed there since 2016.

"The Caring Healthcare Network cooperated with authorities and will continue to do so. Hipps actions are unfortunate to the Caring Healthcare Network and the community we serve. We will have faith in the justice system at this point, that it will serve the community as intended," Bruno said.

Police said Lingle was allegedly having Hipps write him prescriptions, but in his wife's name and several other names. 37 oxycodone prescriptions were filled for Lingle's wife and authorized by Hipps from 2014 to 2016.

Hipps did not have any medical records for Lingle or his wife.

Police said they interviewed a friend of Hipps, who told them Hipps wrote him a prescription for pain medication after a bad car accident.

Police said another man stated he had been getting perscriptions from Hipps since 2008.

"I was trying to be a good, caring person and help people," Hipps told 6 News in a phone interview Friday. "I was helping out a family friend that was going through a hard time. There was no malicious intent or personal gain."

Hipps said her license was expired but was unaware.

Both Hipps and Lingle have preliminary hearings scheduled for Jan. 24.

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