Myrtle Beach Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Tampering
JUL 21 -- Columbia, SC - United States Attorney W. WALTER WILKINS stated that Harold Eugene Gillung, age 49, of Myrtle Beach, pled guilty in federal court in Florence to tampering with consumer products, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1365(a)(4). United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell accepted the plea and will impose a sentence upon Gillung at a later date.
Evidence established that Gillung has been a registered pharmacist since 1984. From February to August 2006, Gillung was working as a part-time pharmacist at CVS locations in and around the Myrtle Beach, SC area. An investigation began after a CVS pharmacy technician witnessed Gillung crushing a pill and putting the powder on an open wound. Video cameras were installed and recorded Gillung emptying capsules of meprozine and refilling them with crushed hydrocodone, both Schedule II controlled substances. Customers with prescriptions for meprozine were unwittingly given hydrocodone in capsules meant for meprozine.
Gillung was interviewed by CVS and admitted to having a meprozine addiction, and taking the meprozine from CVS stock. CVS thereafter quarantined all of its meprozine stock in the pharmacies where Gillung had worked, and contacted customers who had filled prescriptions for meprozine during the period in which Gillung switched the medications. No injuries were reported by affected customers.
Mr. Wilkins stated the maximum penalty Gillung can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and imprisonment for 10 years.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Unit. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II, of the Florence office handled the case.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com and www.dea.gov