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Press Release

Pharmacist Headed to Federal Prison and Required to Pay $55,000 in Community Restitution for Illegally Distributing Oxycodone and Amphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER -- A registered pharmacist, Mary Aronson, owner and operator of St. Vrain Pharmacy in Lyons, Colorado, was sentenced for illegal distribution of narcotics before Chief United States District Court Judge Philip Brimmer, announced United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn and DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDemott.  Aronson was sentenced to 6 months in prison, to be followed by 6 months of home detention and 5 years of supervised release.  As part of yesterday’s sentence, Aronson is required to forfeit $20,000 and pay an additional $55,000 in community restitution.

The $55,000 community restitution payment is the first of its kind in the District of Colorado and one of the first in the country.  By law, the payment will go to two separate victim funds administered by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, including a fund designated to receive federal funds for substance abuse programs in the state.

According to court documents, including the plea agreement, on November 28, 2017, law enforcement agents spoke with a confidential informant who said that Aronson sold her OxyContin pills for over a year-and-a-half, and that she paid $1 per pill.  On December 5, 2017, the confidential informant made a controlled purchase that was audio recorded by law enforcement.  At that time, the confidential informant provided Aronson $50, who then gave her 20 pills of oxycodone (10 milligram) and 20 pills of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (20 milligram) without a prescription.  Law enforcement conducted two more controlled purchases from the defendant on January 19, 2018, and February 13, 2018.  During the investigation, Aronson gave the confidential informant four blank prescription pages and showed her how to fill out a forged prescription.  The defendant told the informant “don’t worry, the doctor is dead and will never find out.”

“Prescription opioid abuse continues to be an epidemic that is ravaging our state,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn.  “That’s why we not only seek prison terms for those who choose to violate the law, but we will now begin seeking restitution payments where appropriate to address the public harm being caused to communities.”

“The DEA will continue to investigate registrants who cause harm to the public and fuel the opioid epidemic,” said DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott.  “This case shows the opioid epidemic is being fought at all levels to include professionals in a position of trust.”    

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Boulder County Drug Task Force.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Suneeta Hazra, Garreth Winstead, and Tonya Andrews.

 Case No: 18-cr-475


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Updated May 22, 2019

Prescription Drugs