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October 2, 2013

Former Tenn. ambulance director charged with illegally obtaining drugs

Times Free Press

BLEDSOE COUNTY, Tenn. — Former Emergency Medical Service Director Larry Billingsley has been charged in a 34-count federal indictment with forging federal forms and signatures to get morphine, meperidine and Demerol, according to federal sources.

Billingsley, Bledsoe County's ambulance director for more than 22 years, was arraigned Tuesday on 17 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and 17 counts of furnishing false information in a controlled substance record, according to records in U.S. District Court.

In February, state, federal and local authorities said Billingsley was named in a probe at the county ambulance service and at Erlanger Health System, where Billingsley got supplies to stock the county's ambulances.

The investigation started Feb. 15 when DEA agents working with Erlanger officials in Chattanooga contacted the sheriff's office about suspected “mishandling” of medical supplies for county ambulances, according to newspaper archives.

Billingsley was released on his own recognizance after entering a "not guilty plea" to the charges in federal court.

Copyright 2013 Times Free Press

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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