The administrator of a small assisted living home in California, and her husband, were arrested Thursday for allegedly operating a methamphetamine “pill mill” at the address, which also is where they live, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced Friday.
The DEA alleges that Roselle Cipriano, listed in state records as the administrator of the six-bed Genesis Care Home for the Elderly in Vallejo, CA, and her husband, Henry Benson, manufactured counterfeit tablets that varied in color and markings but tested positively in a laboratory for the presence of meth.
The DEA, with assistance from the Vallejo Police Department, served a federal search warrant at the property on Thursday and seized approximately 31 pounds of tablets containing suspected meth, about 17 pounds of suspected meth, one shotgun and a pill press.
The agency said that its Sacramento District Office began an investigation in late 2017 when it learned of a counterfeit pill operation in Vallejo, CA. Undercover investigators subsequently purchased “thousands” of tablets, including yellow ones bearing a “Kool-Aid” form (smiling pitcher), yellow ones embossed with the likeness of President Donald J. Trump and the word “Trump” stamped on the back, yellow ones with the Tesla emblem, and blue Minion character-shaped tablets, the agency said. Investigators also reportedly purchased tablets of the sedative alprazolam, also known by the brand name Xanax. Authorities said they later identified Cipriano and Benson as the suspected suppliers of the pills.
The couple were arrested Thursday on federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and manufacture and distribution of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine.
The residential care facility for the elderly remains open, according to the DEA.