On August 7th, 2015, the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) held their annual conference in Annapolis, Maryland. Attendees represented law enforcement agencies, state regulatory agencies, health care providers, substance abuse professionals, and healthcare fraud investigators
For the second time in recent years the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office was requested to present a successful investigative tactic they are utilizing in the battle against diversion. This included two case studies. Captain Daniel D. Alioto, Commander of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Division, stated, “I was pleased to share the hard work and the successes of the Vice/Narcotics Division. To have investigative techniques and successes acknowledged by our peers, and then shared both on the State and National level is one of the best compliments a law enforcement officer can receive”. Captain Alioto was also a presenter at the NADDI National convention in St. Louis, Missouri two years ago.
A variety of speakers presented on different topics to include Kate Jackson of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). She provided updates, training opportunities, and facts related to the State’s PDMP. Rebecca Hogamier from the Washington County Health Department was invited to educate the attendees on how Vivitrol was showing successes inside correctional institutions. Ed Cartwright from Purdue Pharma, a long time NADDI partner and the funding source of the annual NADDI Grant, reviewed lawful prescribing and current trends in prescription medication. Detective Brandon Underhill of the Harford County Task Force presented a case study on “Operation Bad Medicine” which gave insight into how patience and commitment paid off during a lengthy diversion investigation within Harford County.
“There is no silver bullet for the growing problem of opioid abuse. Education and training programs designed to combat prescription drug abuse are key for all stakeholders such as, law enforcement personnel, health professionals, health care and fraud investigators, treatment professionals and the pharmaceutical industry. NADDI helps make this joint effort all possible”. James Schwartz, NADDI Executive Vice President and Ocean City Police Officer.
Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford attended as well. He presented facts uncovered during his statewide Heroin Task Force meetings and updated the audience on some of the steps he believes needs to be taken to curb the current opioid crisis. The Lt. Governor also confirmed the Heroin Task Force is still in the process of completing their findings and recommendations, which will be forwarded to Governor Larry Hogan in the coming months.
“Our Maryland NADDI Chapter brought together leaders in the state concerned about the continued epidemic of prescription abuse and diversion and the surge in heroin overdose deaths in our communities. The networking accomplished throughout the one-day training between law enforcement, state leaders and the private sector is one of the most important aspects of our NADDI chapter trainings.” Charlie Cichon, NADDI Executive Director.
The attendees were captivated by the stories of “Erin”, a pharmaceutical student who abused opioid pills before becoming a heroin addict and eventually serving jail time. Former FBI Agent Matthew Lowry spoke candidly to the audience about his addiction to pain killers for a medical condition and how that led him to stealing heroin from evidence to support his addiction. He reports to serve his federal prison term in a few days. Captain Alioto stated, “St. Mary’s County held a Drug Summit not too long ago and the slogan was, ‘everyone knows someone’, the next one should have the slogan, ‘it can happen to anyone.’
It was also announced at the conference by NADDI’s Executive Director Charlie Cichon that St. Mary’s County was awarded a grant of $5,000 to be used for drug diversion efforts. “I was pleased to have had the opportunity to attend the Maryland NADDI Chapter training. NADDI remains on the cutting edge of issues we are presently experiencing. Our partnership allows for our detectives to remain current with the best up to date training possible”. Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron
NADDI’s Maryland State Chapter President Jeff Johns stated, “On behalf of the NADDI Maryland State Chapter Board, we would like to thank everyone for your support and participation at our regional training session in Annapolis, Maryland. As a result of this latest regional training, we have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the attendees. The subject matter that NADDI was able to provide was diverse and I am confident that everyone who attended was able to gain additional knowledge that they can share with their colleagues. NADDI is committed to providing support to all of our members. The Maryland State Chapter of NADDI will continue to grow as a result of your continued support and the combined efforts to fight the widespread issues of pharmaceutical diversion.”
Inquiries should be directed to Captain Daniel D. Alioto, Commander of Vice/Narcotics, at 301-475-4200 x1918.
|Captain Daniel Alioto|
|Charlie Chicon and Ed Cartright|
|(pictured L-R) Captain Alioto, Lt. Governor Rutherford and Sheriff Cameron.|
|Lt. Governor Rutherford|