News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30 , 2010
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Drug Store Employee Charged With Illegally Selling Prescription Drugs

APR 30 -- (BUFFALO, NY) - John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today the arrest of Amanda Wheeler, of Lackawanna, New York and a drug store employee, following the return of an Indictment charging Wheeler with unlawfully distributing hydrocodone, a schedule III controlled substance, and diazepam, a schedule IV controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, carrying a maximum possible sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. It should be noted that the fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. (Disciplinary Rule 7-107(B)(6)).

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “DEA has combined multiple resources in order to fight the increased abuse of pharmaceutical drugs. Through concerted efforts with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners DEA is focused on those individuals who illegally distribute non prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical medications should be prescribed by professionals to the right individuals for the right reasons. In this case they were not – and that is a crime.”

According to Assistant United States Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling the prosecution of this matter, Amanda Wheeler, a local drug store employee, was stealing the hydrocodone and diazepam from her employer, and then illegally selling the prescription drugs from her residence.

According to USA Hochul, “This Indictment underscores the seriousness with which my office and the Drug Enforcement Administration view the problem that the illegal sale of prescription drugs is having on our community. Countless numbers of people in our community - including our children - are endangered and harmed daily by the illegal use and abuse of prescription drugs. This problem is every bit as serious as the distribution of heroin and cocaine and those involved in the illegal sale and diversion of prescription drugs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

USA Hochul further stated, “My office and the Drug Enforcement Administration intend to combat the diversion of prescription drugs by investigating and prosecuting individuals, including those in the medical and pharmacy professions, who are responsible for the diversion of controlled substances, which then find their way to the streets and schools of our communities. This prosecution is only the beginning of my office’s efforts to bring to justice and deter others from profiting from the illegal sale and diversion of prescription drugs. I commend the Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts in making our communities safer.”

The Indictment was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration Buffalo Resident Office and West Seneca Police Department.