A Kanawha County woman pleaded guilty earlier this week to a federal drug charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

Patricia Anne Carnes, 51, of Elkview, entered her guilty plea to obtaining hydrocodone and oxycodone by fraud. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad and the Charleston Police Department for the investigation.

Carnes admitted that she fraudulently ordered prescription pads from a printing company in order to obtain counterfeit prescriptions with the name and DEA registration number of a Charleston area doctor. Between October 2016 and early April 2017, she wrote and filled approximately 11 forged prescriptions of oxycodone and hydrocodone for herself. She further admitted that she used this fraudulent scheme to obtain over 650 pain pills.

Carnes faces up to four years in federal prison when she is sentenced on May 9, 2018.

Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

This case is part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.