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Pharmacy Tech on Probation for Stealing Drugs

Post Date:02/20/2018
PerezA jury convicted Jorge Alberto Perez of felony Misapplication of Fiduciary Property on January 12, 2018, after which Judge Kenneth S. Cannata sentenced him to a probation Perez agreed to with prosecutors. The 36-year-old Houston man was caught after his employer’s internal audit discovered a shortage of prescription drugs in 2009-2010.

According to Assistant District Attorney Abdul Farukhi, CVS Pharmacy Loss Prevention conducted an internal audit of missing alprazolam from one of their pharmacies in Richmond in May 2010. After setting up a hidden camera, CVS caught one of their pharmacy technicians, Jorge Alberto Perez, taking pills that were not scheduled for dispensing. CVS gave Perez an opportunity to explain himself and he confessed that he not only took the alprazolam, but that he was taking other pharmaceuticals as well, including hydrocodone, Viagra, Cialis, Cymbalta, and Flomax. A subsequent audit confirmed the shortages Perez claimed. The defendant stated he sold the pills to “make ends meet” and used the pills himself. The wholesale value of the pills was in excess of $2,000. Due to the defendant’s employment status as a person in a position of trust, the State secured an indictment from a Fort Bend County grand jury for the misapplication of fiduciary property between $1,500 and $20,000.

At trial, the defendant testified that his confession to CVS was not voluntary, despite the fact he wrote and signed statements to the contrary, and that no promises or threats were made to him. The CVS employees who witnessed Perez’s confession agreed that he appeared to give a voluntarily statement and that he was allowed to leave the interview at any time. The defendant also testified that he was not in his right state of mind at the time he gave the confession and made up his statement because the room in which he gave the confession reminded him of a hospital room where he was forcibly held against his will. Perez acknowledged that his hospitalization was five years prior to the confession and that he was under the influence of drugs when he was admitted. He also admitted that he did take items from CVS without authorization, namely pills from the pharmacy trash, and used those pills without a prescription.

Considering the evidence before them, the jury found Perez guilty as charged. In lieu of a sentencing hearing, the defendant took the prosecution’s offer of 3 years’ probation. The probation sentence includes a drug and psychological evaluation, a ban from CVS pharmacies, a fine and community service.

“Perez breached the trust placed in him by CVS, the Board of Pharmacy, and the community, by taking and selling drugs to others,” said Abdul Farukhi, lead prosecutor on the case. “We hope this term of probation will provide him an opportunity to rehabilitate himself and address his drug issues.”

The case was tried in the 458th District Court. Misapplication of Fiduciary Property in this case is a state-jail felony, punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and a fine up to $10,000. If Perez violates the terms of his probation, he is open to the full sentence – up to two years’ incarceration.

Assistant District Attorneys Abdul Farukhi and Alison Gottlieb prosecuted the case. Attorney Tristan LeGrande represented the defendant.

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