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      Eight arrested, more wanted in prescription drug investigation

      Ronald Wayne Strickland / LCSD

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Eight people (5 women; 3 men) were arrested on charges that they forged prescriptions for prescription painkillers and then distributed them, including Oxycodone.

      Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says 33-year-old Sarah Ann Buckner was the mastermind of the drug ring. Stephanie Dionne Jeffers, Chris Joseph Eadon, Tonya Melissa Elkins, Michael Arthur Pelfrey, Courtney Margarett Ware, Melissa Ann Davis and Ronald Wayne Strickland were the others arrested.

      Sheriff James Metts said the investigation of a prescription drug ring based in Lexington County is ongoing. Investigators are still looking for two men and two women who remain wanted on criminal charges in connection with the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

      They say those four people still wanted are Donnie Troy Buff, Kenneth Kirkland Ford, Ashley Elizabeth Kastanes and Genie Louise Buckner. Genie Buckner is the sister of Sarah Buckner.

      Sheriff Metts added that since August, members of the prescription drug ring forged prescriptions and illegally obtained painkillers at multiple pharmacies in Lexington and Richland counties. The names of multiple physicians and medical practices were also forged on prescriptions without their knowledge.

      Sheriff Metts asks anyone with information about forged prescriptions for prescription painkillers, the illegal distribution of prescription painkillers, or the whereabouts of the six people still wanted to contact the Lexington County Sheriff's Department at (803)785-8230 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.