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Local pharmacist honored

by: Lee van der Voo, Samantha Adams was nominated for the Citizen Recognition Award by Officer Dawn Walker, an honor bestowed by the Lake Oswego Police.

Lately, Samantha Adams thinks about becoming a police officer.

Currently a certified pharmacy technician at Safeway in Lake Oswego, Adams recently played a role in cracking a prescription fraud case for the Lake Oswego Police.

Adams, 34, was given a Citizen Recognition Award for her efforts Sunday at an annual award ceremony for the department. The award recognizes unusual acts by citizens not associated with law enforcement.

Officer Dawn Walker, who investigated the case for the Lake Oswego Police, said Adams didn't leave her much work after the technician first turned down an unusual prescription request, then followed up with a few phone calls.

Adams quizzed two other local pharmacies, contacted doctors and ferreted out a series of forgeries that painted a clear picture for Walker, who later made an arrest and nominated Adams for the award.

'She had pieced together a beautiful case for me which resulted in eight felony charges,' Walker said.

After the arrest in the case, Walker was able to elicit a full confession from the suspect.

'People like this make our job a lot easier,' Walker said.

For Adams, work on the case was an intriguing opportunity and an experience she said she wouldn't mind repeating. Initially, she said she was only interested in resolving a problem in her industry.

'It's bad for everybody,' Adams said, referring to prescription forgery. 'It's bad for the person who's doing it that they're so hooked on something that they feel they have to forge or steal or lie and it's bad for the doctors and the pharmacists as well.'

The Tigard woman said she later enjoyed the research associated with the case. As it moved forward, she said she found the inside of police work exciting.

'I think anytime you get sight of the other side your mind is a little more open to what could be going on,' Adams said.

Lately she's wondered whether she should take her career in a new direction. Yet Adams said she was surprised by the award from police, which she originally thought was a subpoena.