A Sturgeon Bay pharmacist has been sentenced to three years' probation after pleading no contest to drug charges in a plea hearing before a Wisconsin state judge. Sentencing on three additional felony charges involving prescription drugs that the defendant was accused of stealing have been withheld as a result of a plea bargain that the man's attorney worked out with the court. The deferred sentence will allow the pharmacist time to obtain an assessment for substance abuse, complete counseling and pay restitution to the pharmacy where he worked.
The criminal complaint against the pharmacist claimed that, on April 19, he took hydrocodone pills without a prescription from the pharmacy where he worked. He was also seen swallowing a pill when filling prescriptions. The judge found the pharmacist guilty of five other misdemeanor drug charges that included possessing an illegally obtained prescription; theft of Lorazepam and Xanax; and an additional count of illegally obtaining a prescription. Additional charges of theft, possession of controlled substances and more counts of illegally obtaining prescriptions were dismissed but read into the defendant's records. Sixty days of jail time may also be lifted if directed by the man's probation officer.
If the pharmacist successfully fulfills several conditions of his probation, charges for criminal possession of narcotics could be dropped at a review hearing in 2016. Among the conditions the defendant must fulfill are 50 hours of community service and full-time employment. He may also not possess any controlled substances without a valid prescription, stay away from his former employer and pay restitution to that company.
Attorneys knowledgeable about Wisconsin drug laws may be able to help defendants in similar situations. Experienced Wisconsin lawyers could possibly negotiate a plea bargain in which the defendant exchanges a guilty plea for substance abuse treatment instead of jail time.
Source: Door County Advocate, "Pharmacist placed on probation for drug charges", September 03, 2013