Ennis pharmacist pleads guilty to opioid distribution
MISSOULA – An Ennis pharmacist accused of diverting opioids today admitted to unlawfully dispensing an opioid and obtaining personal opioid prescriptions by fraud or forgery, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Bradley John Stoick, 70, of Hailey, Idaho, pleaded guilty to dispensing a controlled substance by a practitioner and to acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge. Stoick faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Stoick was released pending further proceedings. Sentencing was set for Nov. 19.
"It is critical that pharmacists and other licensed providers comply with the law when dispensing all drugs, especially opioids. When a health care professional, like Mr. Stoick, abuses his position to divert and steal opioids, he will be prosecuted," U.S. Attorney Alme said.
The prosecution said in court records that Stoick was the pharmacist-in-charge of Ennis Pharmacy in Ennis. In 2019, Drug Enforcement Administration investigators conducted a routine administrative inspection of Ennis Pharmacy and discovered numerous prescriptions for Stoick for Norco 10-325mg, a drug which contains Hydrocodone, a powerful opioid and a Schedule II controlled substance. Stoick filled those prescriptions for himself as the on-duty pharmacist. The doctor whose name and signature were on those prescriptions never saw Stoick as a patient and did not issue any of those prescriptions.
In addition, computer records at the pharmacy showed that Stoick altered a prescription for a friend. He modified the strength of the prescription from Norco 5-325mg up to Norco 10-325mg, which contains twice as much Hydrocodone. He also increased the amount of the prescription from 45 pills to 120 pills. Stoick then filled the prescription himself and mailed it to his friend in Utah.
In a separate civil case settled earlier this month, Ennis Pharmacy agreed to pay a $125,000 fine and make several changes to its operating procedures.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Kakuk is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the DEA.