News Release
April 1, 2009
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Marysville Pharmacy Technician Pleads Guilty
Hydrocodone Abused By Medical Professional

APR 01 -- (Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that on March 26, 2009, Shirley G. Molina, 36, of Marysville, Washington, entered a guilty plea to the felony offense of acquiring a controlled substance (hydrocodone) by misrepresentation, deception, and subterfuge, in violation of federal law. This offense is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to court records, Molina was employed as a Pharmacy Technician at the Bartel Drug Store in Lake Stevens, until November 25, 2008. As a Washington State licensed Pharmacy Technician, Molina was authorized to fill prescriptions, and had regular access to controlled substances belonging to the pharmacy inventory. During this time, Molina knowingly and intentionally removed from the pharmacy’s inventory quantities of hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance, which she thereafter diverted and misappropriated to her own unauthorized use. Molina unlawfully diverted several stock jars containing 500 10mg pills of hydrocodone, which she then consumed. Several thousand pills of hydrocodone were unlawfully taken by Molina. In order to conceal her theft, she adjusted pharmacy inventory records. Review of the pharmacy video surveillance showed Molina taking the pill bottles. On November 25, 2008, Molina was confronted by officers regarding her conduct, and she admitted to taking the hydrocodone. Molina turned over an additional bottle containing 500 hydrocodone pills that she had removed from the pharmacy and stored in her vehicle.

Molina is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on June 26, 2009. As part of her guilty plea, she agreed to pay restitution to the pharmacy for the value of the drugs taken.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lake Stevens Police Department.