Pair Arrested After Trying to Pass Fraudulent Prescriptions in Pittsfield

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 28, 2022 at 9:30am

Two men from the collar counties of Chicago were arrested in Pike County last week on fraudulent controlled substance charges.

According to a release by Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Starman this morning, members of his department began an investigation into the passing of fraudulent prescriptions at a local pharmacy last Monday, December 19th.

During the investigation, police determined that subjects had presented prescriptions for narcotics through an electronic system using fake patents and doctor’s office names.

On Friday police were alerted after one man arrived at the County Market Pharmacy in Pittsfield attempting to pick up a narcotic prescription. Starman says the suspect ran after officers attempted to make contact with him.

The man identified as 31-year-old Michael O. Battista of River Forest, Illinois was later apprehended in the 400 block of West Washington Street.

A second suspect fled from officers at the County Market in a vehicle. Starman says after a short pursuit, 28-year-old Manual S. Gonzalez of Romeoville, Illinois pulled the vehicle over and surrendered peacefully.

Battista has been charged in Pike County Court with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Gonzalez was charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, as well as numerous traffic offenses. Bond for each man was set at $6,000.

Chief Starman says the assistance that was given to his department by the County Market Pharmacy staff made all the difference in stopping the two men from obtaining the controlled substances.