Drug Charges Get Woman Six Months In Jail

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Carolyn Mouritsen, 51, of Payson has been sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years probation for her role in illegally obtaining narcotic pain killers.

Mouritsen, sentenced by Gila County Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill, began serving her term Feb. 17 in the Payson Gila County Jail and has work-release privileges.

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Carolyn Mouritsen

Mouritsen's husband, former physician Mark Mouritsen of Payson, was sentenced Sept. 27, 2004 to six years probation and 720 hours of community service. He was also found guilty of illegally obtaining prescription narcotics.

According to Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores, Carolyn Mouritsen received jail time, and her husband did not, because she played a more significant role in the crimes.

Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner agreed, "she was a little more complicit in it than he was."

Also, Flores added, Mark Mouritsen received the harsher community service sentence, which he can fulfill using his medical skills if he chooses.

In April 2004, Mark Mouritsen was ordered by the Arizona Medical Board not to practice medicine.

On May 12, the board reinstated Mouritsen's right to practice medicine with restrictions

He cannot prescribe Schedule II controlled substances, he must practice in a group setting, participate in a substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation program, and submit quarterly reports on his compliance.

Mouritsen and his wife were arrested in January 2004; they were each originally charged with 17 counts of obtaining narcotic prescriptions by fraud.

Carolyn Mouritsen was also charged with 11 counts of forgery.

Prior to the arrest, the Mouritsens had been under investigation for about four months, Gartner said.

"We received information there may have been some issues with Dr. Mouritsen's office and the manner in which scheduled narcotic drugs were being dispensed," he said.

Narcotics detectives and officers served simultaneous search warrants on Mouritsen's medical office and home. Police seized an undisclosed amount of narcotics, documents and computers.

At the time, Gartner said officers had obtained evidence that showed Mouritsen and his wife employed illegal tactics to obtain prescription narcotics.

The narcotics were believed to be pain killers -- Vicodin and OxyContin.

Gartner said the evidence also showed the Mouritsens were writing prescriptions and receiving a portion of the narcotics in return.

"His wife called in numerous prescriptions for pain killers and in some instances was receiving some of those painkillers back to herself."

Following Mouritsen's arrest, his office was closed causing patients to scramble for their medical records.

Mouritsen and his wife were indicted Jan. 28 by a grand jury. Mouritsen was indicted on 18 counts of obtaining narcotics by fraud and one count of conspiracy.

His wife was indicted on 28 counts of obtaining narcotics by fraud, 11 counts of forging prescriptions, one count of attempting to obtain narcotics by fraud and one count of conspiracy.

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