News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012
MARTINEZ, Ga. -- A high-profile local businessman is out on bond after being arrested for prescription fraud.
George Snelling was arrested Tuesday at the Walgreen's Pharmacy on Washington Road.
Snelling is a prominent business owner around town. He's on a number of local and state governing boards, but now he's facing some serious prescription fraud charges.
"A pharmacist at Walgreen's contacted our agency, stating that they were in possession of two prescriptions that were suspicious," explained Columbia County Sheriff's Cpt. Steve Morris. "They didn't recognize the doctor's name."
Investigators say Snelling wrote a prescription for 20 Valium and 50 mg of the pain reliever Tramadol and asked his employee to go fill it.
"He wrote a prescription to one of his employees at Washington Road Self Storage, who didn't ask for the prescription, but complied with her boss," Morris said. "With intentions of bringing the medication back to him to later be provided to a third party."
Narcotics investigators were called in, and now they're looking closer at Dr. Snelling's past activity.
"It's something they were taking a look at yesterday and may be looking into in the future, but there's no indication that there will be additional charges," Morris said.
A prominent member of the Republican Party of Columbia County, Snelling also leases out this property to the party in one of his Washington Road shopping centers.
"He is a retired dentist, but he does hold a license in good standing, so that's not the issue, the issue is the manner in which this developed," Morris said.
Snelling is facing 13 years in prison and a $75,000 fine for the two felonies and one misdemeanor.
"We certainly appreciate the pharmacist calling us, and they do that quite often, when they encounter a suspicious situation. They'll give us a call, sometimes it checks out and sometimes it doesn't,"
Snelling bonded out of jail Tuesday after posting the $18,000 bail. He's on a number of state and local boards. In 2006, Gov. Sonny Perdue named him to the Georgia Medical Center Authority Board of Directors. Now, he's the chairman.
He's also been appointed by the lieutenant governor to the State Building Authority and Georgia State Properties Commission. He's also listed as a board member for the Builders Association of Metro Augusta, the Georgia Self-Storage Association and the Republican Party of Columbia County.