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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Springdale Pharmacy Technician Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Stealing Drugs From Walter Reed Hospital

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Issa Wasco Koroma, age 62, of Springdale, Maryland to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to steal prescription drugs from two federal military hospitals.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Antoinette V. Henry of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations.

Koroma admitted that from January 2008 to July 11, 2013, he conspired with others to steal Norditropon, Humatrope, Somatotropin, Botox and other branded varieties of human growth hormone from pharmacies located at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Walter Reed) in Bethesda, Maryland; and the former Walter Reed Medical Center (Old Walter Reed). They re-sold the stolen pharmaceuticals for profit.

Koroma was a pharmacy technician at Walter Reed. No later than the middle of 2011, Koroma began to steal brands of human growth hormones and Botox from the pharmacy at Walter Reed. From August 2011 to June 2013, Koroma and his co-conspirators stole over $1.3 million worth of pharmaceuticals from the pharmacy at Walter Reed.

Koroma and a co-conspirator also stole other prescription medications from the pharmacies at Fort Belvoir, Walter Reed and Old Walter Reed, which Koroma gave or sold to friends and acquaintances. These included Viagra, Cialis, Diovan, Humulin, Levitra and Lipitor.

On June 11, 2013, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Koroma’s residence and seized over 1,500 bottles and packages of prescription medications, including over 100,000 individual pills. A number of stolen prescriptions had been filled but not delivered to individual patients. Those
thefts compromised the names, medical history and other personal identifying information of at least 10 patients treated at Walter Reed.

Koroma also stored stolen medications at a private storage unit he abandoned in 2009 or 2010. At the time that the storage unit was abandoned, it contained approximately 600 individual bottles and packages of prescription medication stolen from the pharmacies at Walter Reed and Old Walter Reed.

The total loss to the United States caused by Koroma and his co-conspirators was at least $4,467,000.

Two co-conspirators have been charged federally for their participation in the conspiracy. Their charges are pending.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DCIS and FDA-OCI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Paul Nitze and Assistant United States Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015