INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is accused of stealing over $1 million in prescription drugs from a CVS distribution warehouse.
That suspect, Jesse Holloway, is now facing federal charges.
Employees at the CVS warehouse near I-70 and 465 normally work to distribute prescription medicine to CVS pharmacies across several states, but according to the criminal complaint, Holloway used his access card to smuggle more than 1,500 bottles of promethazine with codeine out of the facility.
“This is what we call a diversion case, where drugs that are prescribed for legitimate purposes are diverted, in this case the allegation is they were stolen,” said acting United States Attorney John Childress.
Federal prosecutors say the stolen cough syrup is an opioid, making it a controlled substance.
According to the DEA, the street value of each stolen bottle is close to $800 or $50 dollars per ounce for a 16 ounce bottle. The reason for the high value is because the drug would normally require a prescription from a doctor and acquiring the drugs without a prescription are illegal.
“If people can get it, they’re looking to get the same effect as if they were taking an oxy pill,” said DEA assistant special agent in charge Mike Gannon.
“As the investigation continued to mature, Mr. Holloway fled and left his job unannounced,” said Childress.
Investigators claim when they searched the suspects home, they found evidence of the thefts, but Holloway had told his roommate he was going on a trip and was nowhere to be found, until law enforcement caught a lucky break in New Mexico.
“You know we find fugitives. We find people that don’t want to be found,” said United States Marshal Dan McClain.
Dan says a deputy with the United States Marshals Service was in New Mexico working to protect COVID-19 vaccines being delivered, when he spotted Holloway driving on the interstate and made an arrest.
“He started watching oncoming traffic and the guy goes right by him,” said McClain. “What’s the chances of that happening? It worked out well.”
“The long arm of the law extended all the way from Indianapolis to New Mexico, and we held Mr. Holloway accountable for his actions,” said Gannon.
Gannon believes this bust illustrates how federal law enforcement agencies work well together which could save lives and prevent overdoses.
“A hundred percent it saves lives getting this off the street. Thank goodness CVS brought it to our attention, because who knows how long he would have continued to do this.,” said Gannon.
Holloway, who remains in federal custody, is facing charges of theft of interstate shipment and possession of a controlled substance.