Drive-By Tacos operators arrested in alleged prescription drug scheme

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Operators of a well-known food truck business selling tacos in eastern Alabama are collectively facing charges of drug possession and identity theft. The arrests relate to allegations that they altered prescriptions for oxycodone, dextroamphetamine and Adderall, then illegally filled scripts from various Opelika and Auburn pharmacies.

Christopher Pope and Emma Hunt operate Drive-by Tacos, a popular food truck in eastern Alabama established in 2018. Pope and Hunt were arrested by Auburn police for possession/receipt of a controlled substance this this month. Hunt was also arrested this month on charges at Opelika.

During their investigation, officers stopped the Drive-By Tacos food truck in Lee County. Pope tells WRBL that no drugs of any kind were found in the vehicle or on anyone. Pope says his possession charge is unfounded.

“We also believe that now is the time to expose the facts and the corruption among local government agencies. We are 100% ready to take responsibility for wrongdoing, but we will not stand idly by to be persecuted, tried and sentenced without due process. In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty,” Pope said.

Officers arrested the Drive-By Tacos food truck

According to court documents, investigators allege that on April 1, 2022, Christopher Pope filled a prescription for oxycodone acetaminophen at the Kroger Pharmacy on Dean Road in Auburn. The prescription showed it was written by Dr. Sunil Sharma on March 31, 2022. However, investigators say Pope is not and never was a patient of Dr. Sharma, and no such prescription was never issued to him by Dr. Sharma.

According to another court document, detectives alleged on Jan. 28, 2020 that Emma Hunt filled a prescription at the Drug Store on N. Dean Road in Auburn. The prescription was dextroamphetamine-amphetamine 20 MG. Dr Sunil Sharma prescribed it in November 2021, and the prescription did not allow for any refills. However, Hunt previously filled the prescription at the pharmacy on N. Dean Road in November 2021 and at the Opelika Medical Arts Pharmacy on November 15 in violation of Hunt’s legal order.

Hunt also faces charges in Opelika, including identity theft which allegedly occurred in December 2021. Opelika police reported in July 2022; an anonymous person contacted them about Emma Hunt and Christopher Pope getting fake prescriptions. Investigators located a Lee County nurse familiar with Pope and Hunt. The nurse says Hunt was prescribed 20 MG Adderall pills. Investigators allege that twice in December and once in February, Hunt brought a fraudulent script to Medical Arts Pharmacy and received 60 Adderall pills during the three visits. The pharmacist informed investigators that Hunt had presented a prescription for 30 MG pills, not 20 MG. Detectives obtained the scripts from the pharmacist and showed them to the nurse, who said they were fraudulent. The nurse said the paper was not the same and the signature was not Dr. Sharma’s. The pharmacist identified Hunt among a queue as the person who gave the pharmacy fraudulent scripts and the person he gave the pills to. Hunt is charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance by fraud and three counts of impersonation.

On August 12, Drive-by Tacos posted a letter to customers and followers on its Facebook page:

Letter to customers and subscribers on the DBT Facebook page

Pope and Hunt are out of jail on bail pending their court dates. Meanwhile, Opelika and Auburn police say the cases are still being investigated.

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