News and Press Releases

Defendant Unlawfully Dispensed Oxycodone

April 24, 2008

CHRISTOPHER M. DAY, 31, of Federal Way, Washington, was sentenced today to four months in prison in U.S. District Court in Tacoma for the federal felony offense of Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Forgery and Subterfuge.

DAY, formerly a Washington state licensed pharmacy technician, was employed by Bartell Drugs from 2005 through April 2007. As a licensed pharmacy technician, it was DAY’s responsibility to fill and dispense prescriptions authorized by physicians. In November 2006, DAY began abusing his authority by creating phony prescriptions for oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, which he then filled and sold to another individual. DAY created and filled approximately 55 phony prescriptions from November 2006, until his actions were uncovered by Bartell management in April 2007. Nearly all of the prescriptions were for 60 pill quantities of oxycodone, in 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg strengths. The wholesale value of the Oxycodone was $8,133.

Oxycodone is an extremely addictive painkiller narcotic, which has shown increased unprescribed use and abuse from 2005 to the present. Its unprescribed usage is associated with various ill health effects, including overdose and death.

While noting that the defendant had lost his career as a Pharmacy Technician due to his misconduct, United States District Judge Benjamin H. Settle determined that imprisonment was necessary in order to punish the defendant and deter other pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from engaging in such conduct. Judge Settle noted that the defendant’s actions involved “a serious breach of trust regarding dangerous drugs which pose a serious problem in our community.” In addition to imposing a period of imprisonment, Judge Settle ordered the defendant to perform 40 hours of community service and to pay $8,133 to Bartells as restitution for the loss incurred. The period of imprisonment is to be followed by a one year period of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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