Court sentences Chicago pharmacy technician five years in prison for stealing opioids

Court sentences Chicago pharmacy technician five years in prison for stealing opioids

Elizabeth Cruz, a former Chicago pharmacy technician, has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing hundreds of pills of hydrocodone, opioids, and selling them for profit. Cruz was a technician at Allcare Discount Pharmacy, Chicago. Cruz and Jacqueline Green were charged with stealing 56108 pills of hydrocodone from the pharmacy from October 2015 to December 2017.

The Allcare Discount Pharmacy is located in the 2700 block of West North Avenue, Chicago. Cruz and Green allegedly sold the pills outside of the pharmacy. They also allegedly got a profit of at least $10800 from the outside sale of the pills. Cruz falsified the inventory of the pharmacy by showing that the pills were either not received from the distributors or dispensed to the patients.

Cruz, 35-year-old, is a resident of Stone Park. Green, a resident of Chicago, has already been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison in July. Cruz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with an intent to deliver earlier this year. Ronald A. Guzman, a US District Judge, gave the prison sentence of Cruz on Wednesday.

John R. Lausch, Jr., The US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said, “The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of suffering in Chicago and throughout the country.” He added that Cruz provided access to opioids to the people on the streets. The Chicago Field Division of the US Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation in this case.

Robert J. Bell, a Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA Field Division Chicago, said, “When trusted pharmacy employees illegally divert powerful and addictive pain medications for misuse, they put individuals and families at increased risk of a drug overdose.” Bell added that the opioid crisis had reached a serious limit in the US. Nani M. Gilkerson and David Rojas, the assistant US attorneys, represented the government in this case.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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