Three Maryland men are facing charges in connection with their alleged conspiracy to steal prescription drugs from two federal military hospitals. It is alleged that two of the men, who worked as pharmacy technicians at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, were involved in a scheme to steal prescription drugs from hospital pharmacies where they were stored and to sell the drugs to a third party, who was also charged. One of the two pharmacy technicians, age 61, allegedly stole Norditropin and Botox from Walter Reed and sold these drugs to the second technician, a 42-year-old man. The 42-year-old is also accused of stealing Norditropin from Fort Belvoir and then selling all of the drugs to the third party, a 39-year-old.
The Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration announced that a federal grand jury had indicted the three men, all from Maryland, on five counts. A representative from the FDA indicated in the announcement that crimes such as drug theft raise concerns over the integrity of the drug supply.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $1.3 million, which represents the value of the drugs that were unlawfully taken from the pharmacies. The three men face sentences ranging from five years for the conspiracy, though those accused on theft charges face additional penalties for each act of theft.
Because federal prosecutors tend to be very well prepared for court and routinely have high convictions rates, it is important for someone accused of a federal property crime to take the matter seriously. With the help of a qualified attorney who is familiar with the federal system, it may be possible, after a thorough investigation of the charges, to enter into plea negotiations with the government attorneys to ascertain whether there is a mutually acceptable outcome in the case. In many cases, a plea negotiation may result in a better outcome for the accused than the potentially severe penalties after a trial.
Source: The Bay Net, “Three men indicted on charges of stealing drugs from hospitals”, September 18, 2013