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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
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RICHMOND(August 4, 2014) -- On Tuesday, July 29, the registration of Russell County pharmacy technician Carolyn A. Fields was summarily suspended after Attorney General Mark R. Herring's office presented evidence to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy of Fields' theft and diversion of controlled substances for use by another individual. Fields, a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Coeburn, Virginia (Wise County), was found to have illegally diverted an unknown quantity of opioid and benzodiazepine pills between December 2013 and April 2014.


"Prescription drug abuse is an emerging problem in far too many of our communities and I will not allow licensed health care professionals to make potentially addictive drugs such as Hydrocodone even easier to access," said Attorney General Herring.  "On my public safety tour earlier this year, law enforcement officials across the state told me that prescription drugs are an increasingly dangerous gateway into opiate addiction, which is contributing to the resurgence of heroin use across the nation.  Education, prevention and treatment will be important parts of our response, but my Office will do all it can to keep these dangerous drugs, and those who distribute them, off the streets."


A routine inspection of inventory revealed the alleged theft. After further investigation, Fields admitted that she took about three 100-count bottles of Hydrocodone pain management pills, a Schedule III controlled substance and five 100-count bottles of Alprazolam pills, a benzodiazepine and Schedule IV controlled substance used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.  Fields further reported that she stole the pills for use by a relative.


The Virginia Board of Pharmacy has summarily suspended her registration, or license, pending a hearing of the Board where the Commonwealth will seek revocation. That hearing is expected to be scheduled in the next 30-45 days.


Fields has also been indicted by a grand jury on two misdemeanor counts of possession of Schedule III and IV controlled substances and five felony counts of embezzlement of goods having a value of $200 or more.  She is scheduled to be tried on the charges in the Circuit Court of Wise County on Friday, August 8, 2014.


The case was investigated by the Enforcement Division of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.  Senior Assistant Attorney General Wayne Halbleib prosecuted the case before the Board on behalf of the Commonwealth.


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