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Colorado Pharmacist Headed To Prison, Ordered To Pay Restitution For Illegally Distributing Opioids

DENVER (CBS4) -- A registered pharmacist, Mary Aronson, who owned and operated of St. Vrain Pharmacy in Lyons, Colorado, was convicted of illegal distribution of narcotics and sentenced to six months in federal prison. Aronson is also required to forfeit $20,000 and pay an additional $55,000 in community restitution.

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(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The $55,000 community restitution payment is the first of its kind in the country, according to the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. The payment will go to two separate victim funds, including a fund designated for substance abuse programs in the state.

According to court documents, a confidential informant made a controlled purchase of OxyContin and amphetamine without a prescription in 2017. Audio of the purchase was recorded by law enforcement. Law enforcement made two other controlled purchases in the following two months.

During the investigation, prosecutors say Aronson gave the confidential informant four blank prescription pages and showed her how to forge prescriptions. The defendant told the informant "Don't worry, the doctor is dead and will never find out."

"Prescription opioid abuse continues to be an epidemic that is ravaging our state," said United States Attorney Jason Dunn.  "That's why we not only seek prison terms for those who choose to violate the law, but we will now begin seeking restitution payments where appropriate to address the public harm being caused to communities."



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