Man charged with unlawfully acquiring Vicodin; Shorewood police seeking assistance from dentists, physicians

July 26

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Shorewood Police Chief Robert Puleo announced today that a Joliet man alleged to have obtained prescriptions for Vicodin from local dentists has been charged with two counts of unlawful acquisition of a controlled substance.

Keith Alan Richards, 35, of the 900 block of Summit Street, Joliet, was arrested by Shorewood Police on Tuesday and booked into the Will County Jail. He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. Bail was set at $25,000. He must post 10 percent or $2,500 to secure his release while awaiting trial.

The charges are Class 4 felonies that carry a prison sentence of 1-3 years upon conviction.

The charges allege that Richards used false information to acquire possession of a substance containing Hydrocodone, which is the pharmaceutical name for Vicodin.

Shorewood detectives quickly opened an investigation late Friday after receiving information from a local dentist’s office whose staff had become suspicious of a patient who complained of severe toothache pains and requested a prescription for Vicodin.

Shorewood police already have contacted more than a dozen dentist offices or pharmacies throughout the region and are continuing their investigation.

“I want to commend Chief Puleo and his detectives for their immediate response to this dangerous drug activity,” Glasgow said. “We will not tolerate the defrauding of our local doctors to facilitate illicit drug activity. Our drug unit will work closely with the Shorewood Police Department as they aggressively pursue their investigation.”

Dentists and other physicians who believe an individual might have used false information to obtain a prescription for pain killers are urged to contact Detective Jason Barten with the Shorewood Police Department at (815) 725-4636.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that a charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.