Niece of President arrested in drugs fraud case

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The Independent US

The daughter of Governor Jeb Bush and niece of the US President was charged with prescription fraud yesterday after she was arrested at a drive-through chemist while allegedly trying to buy a anti-anxiety drug.

Noelle Bush was arrested in the early hours in Tallahassee, Florida, after a woman claiming to be a doctor had called the chemist and placed the prescription order. Ms Bush, 24, was arrested as she sat in her car in the drive-through lane at the 24-hour chemist.

Governor Bush, who this year faces a tough election challenge, probably from the former attorney general Janet Reno, issued a statement with his wife, Columbia, which said they were deeply saddened by events. "This is a very serious problem. Unfortunately substance abuse is an issue confronting many families across our nation," the statement said. It asked that the public and the media "respect our family's privacy during this difficult time so that we can help our daughter. We will have no further comment on this issue."

According to a police report, officers were called to a branch of Walgreens, having been alerted when a woman claiming to be Dr Noel Scidmore called and placed an order for Ms Bush for the sedative Xanax, a drug similar to Valium and typically prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems. The police said that a colleague of Dr Scidmore said he was no longer practising in Tallahassee and that the phoned-in prescription should be treated as fraudulent.

Officers said that Ms Bush later admitted to police that a contact number for Dr Scidmore left on the pharmacy's answering machine was her second phone line.