Albany County’s deputy county executive has been charged with illegally obtaining the prescription drug Ritalin.
Christine Quinn was caught by the state’s new Prescription Monitoring Program, a computerized system that tracks prescription sales, Albany County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Justin Devendorf said.
“She did manage to get more Ritalin — an amount of Ritalin that attracted the attention of the [state Health Department's] Bureau of Narcotics [Enforcement],” Devendorf said.
Quinn pleaded Tuesday in Colonie Town Court to one count each of fraud and deceit, a misdemeanor in violation of state Public Health Law, and attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony.
“The recent launch of the enhanced Prescription Monitoring Program, which provides real-time information on the sale of controlled substances, was key to triggering this investigation and today’s arrest,” Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Director Terence O’Leary said in a statement. “As the epidemic of prescription drug abuse continues in this country, law enforcement and state health officials will continue to aggressively enforce the governor’s law.”
Devendorf said the district attorney’s office will now conduct an investigation, which could lead to additional charges for Quinn or others who helped her obtain the Ritalin.
“We’re just in the infancy of our investigation,” he said. “Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be able to release specifically how Ms. Quinn acquired the Ritalin.”
Devendorf added that the new tracking system will bring many prescription drug addicts to light.
“The overall reason behind that [system] is to get people who are suffering addiction the help they need,” he said.
After entering her plea, Quinn was released under the supervision of the Albany County Probation Department and waived action by a grand jury.