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Jeb Bush's daughter charged with prescription fraud

Noelle Bush
A booking photo of Noelle Bush, 24, taken after her arrest Tuesday in Tallahassee, Florida  

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- The daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was arrested early Tuesday after she allegedly tried to fill a false prescription at a Tallahassee, Florida, pharmacy, police said.

Police arrested Noelle Bush, 24, at about 1:15 a.m. EST at a Walgreens drugstore and charged her with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance, a jail spokesman said. Police said she was attempting to pick up Xanax, a sedative used to treat anxiety disorder. The drug can make users feel drowsy and dizzy as it reduces nervousness and tension.

However, Xanax also is growing in popularity in the club drug scene, where it is used as a "parachute drug" taken to reduce the impact of the drug ecstasy, said Joe Kilmer of Drug Enforcement Administration's Miami office.

Bush was released pending a court appearance.

According to the police report, she told one of the officers she was due to begin a new job Tuesday morning with Infinity Software Development, Inc.

A statement from the company said Bush was to begin a job as an entry-level human resources administrative assistant.

"Due to personal circumstances, she was unable to begin her job. Infinity's job offer still stands and will be waiting when she is available to return to the workforce," said the statement from Infinity CEO Tom Lynch. "My thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family."

Fraudulently obtaining a prescription is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, said Leon County State Attorney William Meggs.

But Meggs said that Bush is unlikely to face jail time.

"The most likely course in this case is probation or drug court," Meggs said. If Bush is sent to drug court, he said, she most likely would be placed in a rehabilitation program or in counseling with drug testing. Later she probably would be ordered to complete community service.

The governor and his wife, Columba, released a statement following the arrest.

"Columba and I are deeply saddened over an incident that occurred last night involving our daughter Noelle," the statement said.

"This is a very serious problem. Unfortunately, substance abuse is an issue confronting many families across our nation," the statement said. "We ask the public and the media to 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. Thank you for your understanding."

The governor spoke to reporters about a separate issue at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. No questions were asked about his daughter.

The pharmacist said he became suspicious about the call-in prescription because it lacked a quantity, according to the police report. When he tried to check with the doctor named in the call-in, the druggist learned that the doctor no longer practiced and that the prescription was probably fraudulent, the report said.

When a woman came to the drive-through to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist notified police, who arrested her, the police report said.

Police said that Noelle Bush admitted that the prescription's call-back number for the doctor is a second line in her home.

Noelle is Jeb and Columba Bush's only daughter. They have two sons, George and Jeb Jr. Noelle is the niece of President Bush.

CNN Correspondent Mark Potter contributed to this report




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