Originally created 05/29/99

Former police chief facing drug charges

THUNDERBOLT, Ga. -- Former Thunderbolt police chief Kathy Youmans has been arrested on suspicion of picking up a drug prescription that wasn't hers.

Ms. Youmans, who was fired from her police job by the Thunderbolt town council in August 1998, went to a Savannah pharmacy and picked up someone else's prescription for diazepam, commonly known as Valium, according to Chatham-Savannah Narcotics Team Capt. David Jenkins.

A complainant then called police about the incident, and narcotics agents arrested Ms. Youmans and charged her with prescription fraud, Capt. Jenkins said. She posted bail, but no court date has been set.

It was Ms. Youmans' first offense for prescription fraud, Capt. Jenkins said, but the crime is classified as a felony.

That means she could face up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced, according to drkoop.com, a company led by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

It is used to relieve nervousness and tension associated with anxiety disorders. It is also used to treat certain types of seizures and muscle spasms.

Diazepam is a controlled substance, and can become addictive if abused, Capt. Jenkins said.

Narcotics officials released no additional information about the incident.


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