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Iowa pharmacist sent to prison after stealing hundreds of doses of controlled substances

CEDAR RAPIDS - An Iowa pharmacist who stole hundreds of doses of controlled substances from pharmacies has been sent to prison.

CEDAR RAPIDS – An Iowa pharmacist who stole hundreds of doses of controlled substances from pharmacies where he worked from 2017 through 2020 and tampered with medication dispensed to patients from a pharmacy where he worked in 2020 was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison.

Anthony Pape, age 34, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 22, 2022, guilty plea to two counts of acquiring controlled substances by deception and two counts of tampering with consumer products and placing others in danger of bodily injury.

In a plea agreement, Pape admitted that between January 1, 2018, and March 27, 2020, he stole over 2,500 doses of controlled substances from the inventory of two Dubuque area pharmacies where he worked. Also, in February and March 2020, he tampered with medications delivered in six prescriptions he filled for five different patients, including two children. Pape admitted he tampered with the medications by opening the capsules containing the medication and removing most or all of the medications. He then put the empty capsules back into the stock bottles so they would be dispensed to patients. Pape consumed the stolen medications.

Pape was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Pape was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment and fined $10,000. He was ordered to forfeit his pharmacy license, make $9,993 in restitution, and pay $400 in special assessments. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Patients deserve healthcare providers who have only the best interests of the patients in mind,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy T. Duax. “When a healthcare provider commits crimes to serve their personal interests at the expense of patients, we will ensure they are held accountable.”

“Patients rely on the knowledge that they will receive FDA-approved medications to manage their conditions,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office. “When health care professionals tamper with those needed medications, we will pursue and bring them to justice.”

Pape was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation.

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