Authorities: Former surgical assistant, accomplice arrested in drug trafficking scheme

- A former Concord surgical assistant and Rockwell, NC woman have been arrested on charges connected to a scheme to obtain opioid pain medications through fraud and drug trafficking, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.

On Tuesday, August 23, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office arrested Renee Hale Stowe, 42 and Denise Kay Furgeson, 48.

Stowe worked as a surgical assistant for Renaissance Plastic Surgery Clinic in Concord. Stowe is accused of stealing prescription pads from the business and forging prescriptions using her employer as her provider, according to the sheriff's office.

Rowan County Sheriff Office Chief Deputy David Ramsey tells FOX 46 Charlotte, Stowe knew about the investigation before her arrest. 

"Stowe was actually working and saw us there meeting with the doctor, interviewing about these bogus prescriptions, so she was aware of it at that point we were on the trail of what was going on," Chief Deputy Ramsey said. 

Officials say the prescriptions named multiple people, including Stowe, her family members and the second suspect, Furgeson.

The investigation, which has been going on for a month showed fraudulent prescriptions were passed in Rowan and Cabarrus counties since at least 2010 for an assortment of opioid medications.

The investigation showed the family members were unaware of their names being used. Stowe's employment was terminated when the doctor's office was made aware of the investigation. 

"We actually showed him the prescriptions that we had that we knew where fraudulent, he clearly said that wasn't his signature," Chief Deputy David Ramsey said.

Stowe was charged with conspiring with Ferguson to traffick by possession of 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams of opium; six counts of obtaining Percocet, Lortab and Norco by fraud/forgery and six count of trafficking by possession of 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams of opium. Bond was set at $100,000.

Furgeson was charged with conspiring with Stowe to traffick by possession of 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams of opium; six counts of obtaining Percocet by fraud/forgery; and six counts of trafficking by possession of 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams of opium. Bond was set at $250,000.    

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office and NC SBI executed a state search warrant at Furgeson's home and found a meth lab. Two others were charged but Furgeson was not. This is still pending in Rowan County Superior Court.

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