HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced criminal charges against a Schuylkill County pharmacy assistant who stole nearly 30,000 prescription pills, including more than 27,000 Oxycodone pills. The pills had an estimated street value of $565,000.
Jamie Karmonick, 41, of South Main Street, Mahanoy City, is charged with a felony – acquisition or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge – and related charges including theft.
“We will prosecute anyone who diverts prescription drugs from their intended purpose,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Our arrests for the illegal diversion of prescription drugs doubled from the first quarter last year to the first quarter this year. It’s a critical part of the opioid epidemic plaguing our Commonwealth, and we’re committed to prosecuting these illegal diversions wherever we uncover them.”
Attorney General Shapiro noted studies showing that 75 percent of heroin users began their drug abuse by abusing prescription opioids. Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication. In 2017, Office of Attorney General agents have charged 96 persons for illegally diverting prescription drugs – including 4 others in Harrisburg this week for using a doctor’s prescription pad to fraudulently obtain 3,000 Oxycodone pills.
The Schuylkill County investigation began in March when a pharmacist at Alliance Medication Services in Tamaqua noticed a discrepancy in the number of Oxycodone tablets documented on the pharmacy’s computer system. The pharmacist contacted the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s Office, which in turn contacted the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control.
An audit of the pharmacy’s computer system – with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration – revealed a discrepancy and loss of nearly 30,000 prescription pills, as well as evidence the pill counts were fraudulently edited by Karmonick at her computer terminal on numerous occasions.
An Office of Attorney General narcotics agent interviewed Karmonick at her home shortly after the thefts were uncovered, and the defendant admitted stealing the medication, which she claimed was for personal use. In addition to the Oxycodone thefts, Karmonick stole multiple quantities of Morphine, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen and Tramadol. The investigation is ongoing.
“I want to commend the law enforcement cooperation in this case, from the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s Office as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I also want to thank the pharmacy for alerting law enforcement to this serious crime.”
Karmonick was arrested today for the illegal drug diversions and thefts, and bail was set at $25,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing was set for July 11th. Karmonick will be prosecuted by the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s office.
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