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Cleveland woman sentenced for sophisticated prescription fraud scheme

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CLEVELAND-- A Cleveland woman was sentenced to 11 years behind bars after pleading guilty to several charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking and deception to obtain a dangerous drug.

Heather Mitchell, who wiped away tears during her sentencing, told the judge it was her own drug addiction that led her to organize what prosecutors described was one of the most sophisticated fraudulent prescription drug schemes they have ever handled.

“I got addicted and everything went in a blur,” Mitchell told Judge John Sutula during Monday’s sentencing hearing. “I am sorry.”

Judge Sutula sentenced her to 11 years behind bars. Assistant Prosecutor Jen O’Malley said Mitchell had several co-defendants that helped her with the scheme.

“This spanned six counties,” O’Malley said. “She used stolen prescription pads from doctors' offices. At least 5,000 narcotic pills were illegally distributed.”

Mitchell said she is going to do her best to better herself in prison, and hopes to attend college so she can be a good grandmother once she is released.

“It’s too late for my kids,” Mitchell said.