Two charged with picking up dead friend's prescription painkillers

Rumford police photo

Jessica True

Rumford police photo

Melissa Tidswell

RUMFORD — Two local women accused of picking up a prescription for a friend were arrested Sunday after the pharmacist learned the friend was dead, not ill as they had claimed, police said Tuesday.

Melissa Tidswell, 34, of Peru, and Jessica True, 36, of Rumford, were each charged with acquiring drugs by deception, Rumford police Capt. Daniel Garbarini said.

Tidswell was released on $1,000 unsecured bail; True on $1,200 unsecured bail. Both are to be arraigned on the felony charges Jan. 8 in Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris.

Garbarini said the pair acquired Duragesic (fentanyl) patches.

Fentanyl skin patches, according to the MedlinePlus website, are opiate (narcotic) analgesics used to relieve moderate to severe pain that can't be treated with other pain medications. The patches can also cause serious to life-threatening breathing problems.

Garbarini said the women went to a pharmacy, which he declined to identify, on Saturday.

"There was a filled (prescription) awaiting pickup at the pharmacy, and they showed up to pick it up for their friend, who they said was sick," Garbarini said. "Then, a short time later, the pharmacist learned the person they were there to pick up the (prescription) for had passed away several days prior."

The pharmacist contacted Rumford police. Garbarini said an officer began an investigation, asking both women to come to the police station and speak with an officer. Afterward, they were arrested and charged.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



 's picture



FRANK EARLEY's picture

The pharmacy must be held responsible as well....

These two women are truly low life's, but I feel their not alone in this crime. All we hear about these days are prescription drug abuse and thefts. I have noticed that not only is the way prescriptions supplied to the pharmacy, but picking them up has become more difficult over the past couple of years. I need to show an ID, in person to get some of my prescriptions. I can't imagine someone just walking up to the counter and saying I need so and so's medication, she's not feeling well, and just walk out the door. There's a system in place to prevent this from happening. I don't mind having to show my ID every time. Hell, you can't even buy over the counter allergy medication without showing a picture ID, I feel this particular pharmacy needs to review their dispensing policies. Sounds like someone was not paying attention.....


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...