1 of 3 sentenced in Sparta pharmacy drug fraud scheme

Roberto House
Roberto House's mug shot from the Kent County Correctional Facility. (Feb. 13, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of three suspects in a phone call fraud scheme to illegally obtain prescription drugs has been sentenced.

Roberto House was sentenced to nine months in jail for possessing a controlled substance, specifically analogue drugs. His driver’s license was suspended for a year. He was also ordered to pay $125 in fines.

Sparta police said House and two other men — Lavelle Butler and Jermaine Traylor — called the Sparta Family Fare Pharmacy from out of state, posing as a doctor from Arkansas who wanted controlled substances. Police said the poor quality of the call was a hallmark of phone number spoofing apps.

Sparta, pharmacy
The pharmacy in Sparta where three suspects allegedly tried to get prescription drugs using a fake prescription. (Feb. 13, 2017)

The call raised a red flag for the pharmacist, who contacted police. Officers worked with the pharmacist to track down and arrest the suspects after they showed up to pick up the prescription.

Officers say the suspects, who have ties to the Chicago area, tried their scheme all along Michigan’s west coast. Police found empty bottles of similar drugs in
the suspects’ vehicle. They don’t know if drugs were for personal use or resale.

Butler previously pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance, specifically analogue drugs.

Traylor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana, driving with a suspended license and providing a false ID. In turn, the felony prescription drug fraud charges against him were dropped.