Pharmacist Sentenced in Oxycodone Case – The Ledger

<p>BARTOW | A pharmacist was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison and three years of probation for selling oxycodone pills to an undercover detective in 2012.</p><p>Ashish Patel, 38, of Valrico, was the part owner of Med Express Rx on Shepherd Road and was convicted in May of trafficking in drugs.</p><p>During the first 30 minutes of a 90-minute hearing, Patel’s lawyers asked Circuit Judge Wayne Durden to throw out the jury’s conviction based on the language of the allega­tions.</p><p>Chip Purcell, Patel’s lawyer for the sentencing phase, said the charges against Patel were a crime only if he were not a pharmacist. But because of his profession, the case was more about whether he acted in bad faith, Purcell said. </p><p>After hearing both sides of the argument, Durden denied the request and moved on to the sentencing hearing.</p><p>More than 10 of Patel’s friends and family mem­- bers attended the hearing, and several spoke to the judge on Patel’s behalf. All of them said the crime he was convicted of is completely out of character.</p><p>Patel’s wife said he is a very loving husband, caring father and responsible son, and this would be his “first and last mistake.”</p><p>But Polk County sheriff’s Sgt. Danielle Sheffield told Durden that “Mr. Patel took advantage of people who are addicted to painkillers.” </p><p>”Hundreds of people are killed daily by painkillers,” Sheffield said. “I mean, it’s an epidemic.”</p><p>Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson said Patel “deliberately” had a system in place that would siphon off a number of pills to sell illegally, without throwing off the numbers he was accountable for.</p><p>”(Patel) violated his position of trust that he was placed in as a pharmacist because, in his own words at the trial, he just got greedy,” Swenson said.</p><p>Defense lawyer Kelley Collier said Patel has a good reputation and is a responsible family man.</p><p>”This is a good man, and he made a mistake,” Collier said. “This is not the kind of person the court needs to lock up for as long as possible.”</p><p>After both sides presented their arguments, Durden weighed in.</p><p>”The evidence in the case does not support the con­clusion that it was one mistake,” Durden said to Patel. “It’s something you chose to do over some period of time.”</p><p>Durden also said Patel’s motivation for money could have negatively affected many people who are addicted to drugs.</p><p>”The ramifications of this are far beyond simply passing out a few pills to make a few bucks,” he said. “You of all people, based on your background and knowledge, should know that.”</p><p>In August 2012, Patel nego­tiated selling 70 oxycodone pills to an undercover detective for $1,000, according to an arrest report. He gave her 50 pills and told her to return the next day to collect the remaining 20.</p><p>When the detective returned, Patel said she still owed him more money for the 20 pills, and he agreed to sell her 10 more pills, the report states.</p><p>The undercover detective “reluctantly agreed to pay additional money” for the 20 pills, as well as more money for the 10 pills, the report states. In total, Patel received $1,540 to sell the drugs.</p><p>A jury convicted him in May of trafficking in illegal drugs, possession of oxycodone with intent to sell, possession of a structure used for trafficking, sale or manu­facture of controlled sub­stances, and two counts of sale of oxycodone.</p><p>On top of Patel’s seven-year prison sentence and three years of probation after his release, he also is ordered to pay a $50,000 fine, along with other court costs.</p><p>His license has been suspended by an emergency order, according to the website for the Florida Department of Health.</p>

Original post:
Pharmacist Sentenced in Oxycodone Case – The Ledger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *