POMEROY — A former pharmacy technician will spend the next six years behind bars following a sentencing hearing on Monday afternoon.
Stacy A. Hawk, 34, of Middleport, was charged in late 2012 with 14 counts relating the the theft, possession and trafficking of drugs taken from Fruth Pharmacy in Pomeroy where she was employed at the time.
Per a plea agreement on Sept. 30, Hawk pleaded guilty to one count of theft of drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, and two counts of possession of drugs, a felony of the third degree. The other charges were dismissed as part of the agreement.
On Monday, Judge I. Carson Crow heard arguments from Prosecutor Colleen Williams and defense attorney Michael Huff. Hawk also addressed the court.
Williams stated the state would recommend a 72-month prison term due to the offenses which Hawk had pleaded guilty.
Huff argued for a lesser term based on Hawk’s background, stating that she was different than most defendants. Huff added that since the arrest, Hawk has obtained employment, has admitted to the things she has done wrong, and is willing to pay restitution to Fruth Pharmacy.
Hawk addressed the court while fighting tears, thanking Huff, and apologizing to the court, Fruth Pharmacy and her family. She asked for another chance, promising that the court would not see her back there again as a defendant.
Judge Crow, stating that he had considered all of the factors in the case, sentenced Hawk to 36-months in prison on each of the two counts of possession of drugs (felony of the third degree) and five years community control on the single count of theft of drugs. All of the terms are to be served consecutively for 72 months (six years) in prison and five years community control to follow. She will also receive a two-year driver’s license suspension and must pay the court costs.
Restitution in the matter will be determined at a later date as agreed upon by the court and both attorneys.
When the grand jury returned an indictment, Hawk was charged with five counts of theft of drugs, one count possession of drugs, three counts aggravated possession of drugs and five counts trafficking in drugs.
According to the indictment filed with the court, the alleged theft of drugs involved various strengths of hydrocodone with acetaminophen from Fruth Pharmacy No. 6 (Pomeroy) on Nov. 9, 16, 23, 26 and 28.
The single count of possession of drug occurred on or about Nov. 9. According to the indictment, Hawk did knowingly obtain, possess or use a controlled substance. The drugs were described as 500 tablets of hydrocodone with acetaminophen 5/325 mg tablets, a schedule III substance, with the amount being five times greater, but less that fifty times the bulk amount.
The three counts of aggravated possession of drugs, according to the indictment, were on or about Nov. 23, 26 and 28. Each count alleges that Hawk did knowingly obtain, possess or use a controlled substance. The two counts on Nov. 23 were 500, 10/325 mg tablets of hydrocodone with acetaminophen, a schedule III controlled substance with the amount being five times greater, but less than fifty times the bulk amount. The count alleged on Nov. 26 was 500, 10/660 mg tablets of hydrocodone with acetaminophen, with the amount greater than bulk but less than five times bulk amount.
Hawk was first arrested on Nov. 29, 2012, after admitting to agents with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy that she stole hydrocodone from the pharmacy where she worked, a news release from the Board of Pharmacy stated.
Following Hawk’s arrest, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, assisted by the Middleport Police Department and the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant on Hawk’s residence in the 600 block of Grant Street in Middleport. The search warrant yielded the recovery of prescription drugs, weapons and drug paraphernalia from the home.
According to a media release sent by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, the agency began its investigation after receiving information from an investigator with the Pomeroy Police Department. The information stated that the pharmacy where Hawk worked was experiencing significant losses of various strengths of hydrocodone tablets.
A change of plea hearing for Tony Robinson, who was also charged in the case, is scheduled for Nov. 4.