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Phaarmacy technician gets prison term

A former pharmacy technician from Farmington will be spending some time in prison for distributing drugs to people without prescriptions.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri, Mark Redmon, 32, of Farmington, was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

In addition, he was ordered to attend a drug treatment program and pay $13,800 in restitution. He will surrender his Missouri state pharmacy technician certificate as part of the plea agreement.

After he is released from prison, he will be placed on supervised release for one year.

Redmon pleaded guilty in August to the federal charge of distributing misbranded drugs and faced a maximum penalty of three years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

According to police reports, Mark Redmon admitted that during the two-year period when he was a technician at the Farmington-based Medirate Professional Pharmacy, Inc. (Medicate Long Term Pharmacy) he stole approximately 297,763 dosage units of Alprazolam, Diazepam, and Hydrocodone Bitartrate from his employer.

Redmon worked as a pharmacy technician filling and preparing prescription drugs for the pharmacy’s customers, including residents in nursing homes and inmates in state correctional facilities.

He reportedly removed the drugs from their stock bottles and original packaging and sold and dispensed the drugs without prescriptions in exchange for cash payments to other persons, who were not medical professionals.

Further, Redmon admitted that he knew that persons seeking these drugs would generally pay $1 a pill or more, meaning the street value of the stolen and misbranded drugs was approximately $297,763.

According to a law enforcement officer, the investigation began after a 16-year-old girl overdosed at a party in St. Charles County. The girl spent several days in the hospital but lived.

Soon after, they received information about where the drugs were coming from and interviewed those suspects. Eventually DEA agents found out the drugs were coming from Redmon.

A total of five arrests were made including three individuals from the St. Louis area, but only Redmon has been charged.

Participating in the investigation were the Tactical Diversion Squad of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, the Park Hills Police Department, the Missouri State Board of Pharmacy, and the St. Francois County Prosecutor’s Office.

Medirate Professional Pharmacy, Inc., operated by Barbara Dunning, has agreed to pay a $450,000 penalty as a result of the investigation.

In the civil settlement agreement, the government contends that the diversion of the 297,763 controlled substances occurred because of their lack of security, inadequate camera coverage of the business, Medirate’s practice of leaving multiple open stock bottles of controlled substances on the shelves in the storage area and the lack of effective pharmacy audits and accurate record keeping to discover missing controlled substances.

The Controlled Substances Act requires all pharmacies to keep prescription drugs in a secure and safe manner and to maintain accurate and complete records regarding the drugs it purchases, dispenses, and distributes.

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