Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians


October 12, 2012

Lancaster County pharmacist charged with theft of prescription drugs, cash and groceries


HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation have filed criminal charges against a Lancaster County pharmacist accused of stealing more than $20,000 worth of prescription drugs from the grocery store pharmacy where he worked, along with the theft of several thousand dollars in cash and store merchandise.

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Phillip A. Henkel, 60, of 40 Creekside Drive, Millersville.

According to the criminal complaint, Henkel is accused of diverting more than 37,000 tablets of various prescription drugs from the pharmacy at the Weis Market located at 2600 Willow Street Pike in West Lampeter. The alleged theft primarily involved hydrocodone, a powerful pain medication, but also included numerous other prescription drugs.

Additionally, Henkel is accused of providing an estimated $3,000 worth of prescription drugs to pharmacy customers and friends at no charge or at a reduced price.  He is also accused of stealing approximately $3,000 in cash co-payments from the pharmacy, along with the theft of $1,600 in assorted groceries and other items from the store.

Kelly said the suspected disappearance of items from the store was reported to West Lampeter Township Police by Weis Markets, which cooperated with the investigation.  Agents from the Attorney General's Office were contacted because the allegations involved the diversion of a substantial amount of powerful prescription drugs.

Henkel is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Henkel is also charged with two felony counts involving prescription drugs, including the administration, dispensing, delivery, gifting or prescription of a controlled substance not in accordance with treatment principles and acquisition, obtaining or possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.

Henkel surrendered today to agents from the Attorney General's Office and was preliminarily arraigned before Willow Street Magisterial District Judge William E. Benner, Jr.

Henkel was released on $75,000 unsecured bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on October 22nd, at 1 p.m, before Magisterial District Judge Benner.

Attorney General Kelly thanked the West Lampeter Township Police Department, the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office and Weis Markets for their cooperation and assistance during this investigation.

Henkel will be prosecuted by Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman's office.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty)

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