A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy is accused of three felonies after she allegedly refilled and picked up painkillers prescribed to an elderly man she had befriended, according to authorities.
She did so without the man's knowledge and kept the pills for her own purposes, detectives from her department allege.
On Wednesday morning, deputies arrested Kelly Curran Smith, 43, on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance, unlawfully possessing a controlled substance and unlawfully using a personal identifying information, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos.
Smith, a 23-year veteran assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail and released after she posted $30,000 bail.
"Maintaining the public trust is paramount to the Sheriff's Department," Sheriff Scott Jones said in a statement announcing the arrest. "Any alleged violation of that trust is something that the Sheriff's Department will aggressively investigate and take appropriate action."
Ramos said the criminal and internal affairs investigations into Smith began March 31 after authorities were alerted to her alleged misconduct. Smith was placed on administrative leave, and further investigation led to the three felony charges, Ramos said.
She remains on paid administrative leave.
Ramos said he could not comment on whether Smith was on duty at the time of any of the alleged illegal activity, and Jones said he could not answer that question because it is a personnel matter.
Ramos also said he could not elaborate on the charges. Court records, however, offer some details in the case.
According to the request for an arrest warrant filed in Sacramento Superior Court, Smith was identified as a suspect shortly after the family of a 90-year-old man found that someone on April 1 had refilled his prescription for hydrocodone, a generic form of Vicodin, and picked up the pills without his knowledge.
The warrant request, written by sheriff's Detective Chris Joachim, does not make clear whether investigators were already watching Smith.
The affidavit says only that the man's family suspected Smith "because she fit the description of the suspect, she was known to have befriended (the victim) and the family learned (the victim) had given her a key to his residence."
"Additionally, the family had learned the signature for the person picking up the prescriptions started with a 'K' and Smith had visited (the victim) on the day the prescriptions were picked up," Joachim wrote in the warrant request.
The victim's granddaughter found one of his hydrocodone bottles missing, and the bottle contained information needed to place a refill order, according to the warrant request.
The victim denied ever asking Smith to pick up his pills, despite Smith's initial statements to his granddaughter and then to detectives that he had asked her to do so, Joachim wrote.
In those statements Smith also said she brought the pills back to the victim's home, according to the warrant request, though surveillance video at the victim's mobile home park do not show her returning to the home that day.
Joachim wrote that Smith later told him she returned the following week with the pills, and then eventually admitted ordering the refill for her own purposes.
"Smith claimed she diverted the hydrocodone because she was 'stockpiling' pills to aid her father, who is dying of cancer," according to the warrant request. "Smith stated she did not have any 'problems' with pain medication."
Upon further investigation, detectives were given a pill bottle that had been in Smith's possession labeled April 1, Joachim said. That bottle, however, contained hydrocodone pills from a manufacturer that the victim's pharmacy had not used in more than 2 1/2 years, suggesting Smith had pills other than those filled April 1.
Joachim also noted that information required by law about the pills such as markings unique to a manufacturer had been removed from the label.
Neither the warrant request nor the charges indicate whether Smith allegedly used the pills herself or supplied them to her father.
Smith did not respond to a message left on her cellphone Wednesday afternoon.