Update: Pharmacy employee accused of drug theft, but pharmacy says type of missing drugs listed by police inaccurate
A Whitley County Grand Jury indicted a Williamsburg pharmacy employee and local educator Monday for stealing drugs from the pharmacy, but pharmacy officials said that the type of drugs that police initially indicated were missing are incorrect.
The Whitley County Grand Jury issued its monthly report Monday, and indicted Erica Roggie, 32, of Rockhold, charging her with one count of theft by unlawful taking of the value of $500 or more.
According to her indictment, on Jan. 9, 2019, she allegedly knowingly and unlawfully took controlled narcotics worth $500 or more, which were owned by Whitley Pharmacy.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird, whose department conducted the initial investigation, said that last January a pharmacist for the pharmacy contacted police suspecting that one of its employees, Roggie, had allegedly taken Schedule II narcotics.
When police interviewed Roggie she admitted to taking seven Schedule II pills, which is what she is accused of taking in her indictment, Bird said.
Bird said that the initial investigation revealed that there were about 15,000 Schedule II pills unaccounted for over a six-month time period.
Whitley Pharmacy officials said Wednesday that the number is closer to 10,000 pills that are missing, but instead of being Schedule II drugs, the pills are less powerful Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs with the main missing medicine being generic Tylenol #3.
The difference between Schedule II and Schedule III narcotics is largely their abuse potential and how powerful the medications are, with Schedule II drugs having a greater abuse potential than Schedule III drugs.
Pharmacy officials said that there were initially about 2,000 unaccounted for Schedule II drugs when the police investigation began about one year ago, but it was determined that the discrepancy was caused by a bookkeeping error regarding disposal of some old medications after Whitley Pharmacy and Corner Prescription merged.
The London office of the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy are now conducting the investigation into the remaining unaccounted for pills.
According to the DEA’s website, Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples of Schedule II narcotics include: hydromorphone, methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, opium, codeine and hydrocodone.
Schedule III substances have a potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or II and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III narcotics include: products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit, such as Tylenol and buprenorphine.
According to the Whitley Circuit Clerk’s Office, an indictment warrant was issued for Roggie’s arrest Monday, and her bond is set at $7,500 cash.
When contacted by email to see whether the Erica Roggie, who was indicted Monday, was the same Erica Roggie, who is listed on the school district’s website as a teacher at Whitley County Middle School, Superintendent John Siler would only say that Roggie was on a board approved leave during the 2018-2019 school year, and as of Oct. 15, 2019, she was on an unpaid board approved leave.
Siler noted that this was all the information he could provide since this is a confidential personnel matter.