INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis pharmacy tech is facing felony charges this week for allegedly skimming hundreds of prescription pills on the job.
Police were first notified about the thefts at the Walgreens on Georgetown by a manager earlier this month.
A manager at the Walgreens were alerted by a patient who called after being shorted five oxycodone tablets.
The pharmacy manager then checked their video and watched as an employee allegedly skimmed five pills from the prescription and quickly realized it was part of a larger ongoing theft.
Court records claim the suspect, Zennon Gaines, was seen counting out the 130 of the 135 pills for the prescription. But after he counts out the pills, he grabbed another vial and puts more pills into the second vial, then pushed it to the back of the countertop.
“Walgreens did a good job. They identified one of their employees was stealing prescription medicine and notified us,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Gannon.
Court records show after the DEA began to investigate, they recovered 775 missing pills from the suspect’s car, including Adderall, Percocet, Oxycontin and more.
The DEA said it takes these sort of cases serious because prescription drugs in the wrong hands can easily lead to overdoses.
“That’s just so dangerous when someone in a position of trust gives these pills to people or sell them to people. It’s a very dangerous thing,” said Gannon.
Gannon hopes the case spreads awareness about the dangers of prescription pill abuse.
“The numbers for 2021 in Marion County show there were over 826 overdose deaths. 641 of them were opioid and fentanyl related,” said Gannon.
According to the affidavit filed this week, Gaines admitted to stealing multiple pills and other items from the store floor while working in the pharmacy. He allegedly told police he had a friend that was asking him for “stuff” via text messages and Gaines would take the pills from the pharmacy as he would fill the prescriptions.
Hundreds of those pills were located in a grocery bag in the back area of his vehicle in the spare tire compartment.
“It’s dangerous and I’m glad we were able to hold him accountable for his actions,” said Gannon. “We have to make sure these prescription drugs aren’t illegally getting out into the community and keep our community safe.”
The suspect was released from jail on a $20,000 bond. His trial is initially set for June.