Police: Local teacher used wife’s, dead father’s names on forged prescriptions for painkillers

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — A local high school English teacher is facing criminal charges for forging prescriptions to get pain pills, according to police.

Investigators said Alex Stright, who is listed as an English teacher at South Allegheny High School, stole a prescription pad from a dentist office – all in an effort to support his addiction to painkillers.

If you want to receive Allegheny County news alerts, please download our WPXI News App. You can also follow WPXI on Facebook and Twitter.

Stright was charged after a pharmacist at Ligonier Valley Pharmacy tipped off authorities, unraveling a trail of fraudulent prescriptions.

Police said Stright got ahold of the prescription pad from Dr. William Zammerilla’s office. Stright allegedly told investigators his friend has a weight room below the office and he would check to see if the door was unlocked.

According to police documents, Stright “went in after hours and took five pages from a prescription pad.” He then signed Zammerilla’s name and took that prescription to various pharmacies.

What helped tip pharmacists off was Stright parked his truck at a gas pump, walked up to fill his prescription and drove off without ever getting gas.

According to police, Stright hit multiple pharmacies across Allegheny County and Westmoreland County. He filled scripts in not only his name, but also his wife and recently deceased father.

Zammerilla told police that Stright was never a patient of his.

Stright is facing charges of forgery, burglary and other drug-related charges. It is unclear what his status in the school district is following the arrest.