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Authorities conduct drug bust in area


By TONI WALTHALL News-Times Staff Union County Sheriff ’s deputies and Smackover police conducted a drug bust Tuesday afternoon, effectively shutting down a prescription drug operation in Smackover.
Deborah Camaratta, 47, of 1203 Beech St., Smackover, was arrested Tuesday after deputies and officers uncovered a "very large amount of prescription products" and a small amount of marijuana. According to Union County Sheriff Ken Jones, narcotics investigators had been conducting surveillance on Camaratta at least two months before exacting the search warrant around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Jones, Camaratta was charged on nine counts of delivery of a controlled substance; five counts of delivery of Oxycontin, a Schedule II nar- cotic known for its highly addictive nature; one count of possession of Demerol; two counts of Xanax, a Schedule IV narcotic; and one count of possession of hydrocodone, also a Schedule IV narcotic. Jones said that Camaratta was in possession of a large amount of prescription drugs. The drugs were prescribed to Camaratta and obtained in large amounts via mail-order sources, Jones said. Investigators are still looking into how Camaratta obtained the prescriptions, but they say she was selling the prescription drugs for profit.
"Oxycontin, especially, is becoming a big problem that we are taking very seriously," Jones said.
"We are going to do what we can to eradicate it before it becomes a bigger problem." Camaratta had her first appearance Wednesday in Union County District Court, where Judge George Van Hook set her bond at $20,000.

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