- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A pharmacy customer’s complaint about a shortage of pills in a prescription led to a probe by St. Mary’s narcotics detectives, according to their commander, resulting in the indictment and arrest of a woman who worked there as a pharmacy technician.
A judge ordered last week that Ashley Caroline Reid, 25, of Leonardtown be held in jail in lieu of $10,000 bond on charges including stealing property valued at more than $1,000 and less than $10,000 between June and November of last year from CVS/Caremark Corp., illegally possessing oxycodone and Percocet, and obtaining prescription drugs by fraud.
The report of pills missing from a prescription at the CVS in Leonardtown initially was made to sheriff’s Cpl. Margaret Smolarsky, and discussions of the matter at a weekly crime-data review by sheriff’s office commanders led to a further investigation, according to sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Alioto.
“When something’s not right, the quicker you report it to the authorities, the better,” Alioto said.
A 7th District man who was a customer of the pharmacy, and who takes oxycodone for back pain, reported last fall that he discovered in September that 50 pain pills were missing from a prescription that he had picked up hours earlier from the business, and that when he called there to report the shortage, its staff replied that it double counted every order and that there was no error in its inventory count. He had to leave the next day for a business trip in Florida.
“My pills were short, and I couldn’t replace them,” he said last week. “I got through in some kind of way.”
In early November, by his account, he got a phone call from an apologetic supervisor at the pharmacy stating that a review of security tapes at the business showed the alleged thefts, and that the sheriff’s office had been notified.
Mike DeAngelis, a public relations director for the corporation, said this week that the suspect no longer works for the pharmacy, and that authorities were notified when the pharmacy was informed by a customer about missing medication.
Alioto, the narcotics detective, said that the investigation thus far has identified two people whose prescriptions were shorted, and “we’ll probably find some others as we go along.”
DeAngelis said Wednesday that any customers affected by the alleged thefts “were either refunded, or we contacted their physician to make sure they received complete prescriptions.”
“They gave me a $50 certificate,” the 7th District man said, “and wished me well.”
He expressed his concern for the suspect.
“It’s a shame what happened to this young girl,” he said. “It may be a good thing that she got caught, ... to get some kind of counseling, some help. It may turn her life around for the better.”