SCRANTON — A woman from Wilkes-Barre awaiting sentencing for pleading guilty to tampering with a bottle of children’s medication that a consumer purchased at a pharmacy allegedly admitted to a similar incident, according to federal court papers.
Yolanda Holman, 35, of Waller Street, was accused of purchasing chewable children’s Advil tablets at the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Wilkes-Barre Township, and switching the pills with muscle relaxers and iron tablets in her home on Aug. 23. Holman resealed the box with super glue and had her mentally challenged daughter return the tainted bottle at the Rite Aid pharmacy on East Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre, federal prosecutors said.
The tampered Advil bottle was purchased by a woman in early September for her daughter, who had an injured elbow. The mother opened the box in her car and thought it was odd that the tablets were shifting in the bottle.
It wasn’t until the mother arrived home that she discovered the seal on the bottle was broken and two different types of pills were inside, neither of which were chewable Advil.
Agents with the FBI traced the bottle to its original purchaser by a tracking number on the return receipt. Surveillance video at the Rite Aid recorded Holman buying the Advil tablets, U.S. Assistant Attorney Michelle Olshefski said in February when Holman pleaded guilty.
Olshefski said at the time that when agents went to Holman’s residence, they spotted Tylenol tablets in a coffee cup and the same type of muscle relaxer pills found in the tainted Advil bottle in a medicine cabinet.
In response to Holman’s request for leniency claiming family hardship if she were jailed, federal prosecutors said she admitted to another incident involving the purchase of Tylenol from a store in Hanover Township.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors, Holman “admitted to similar conduct involving the purchase of Tylenol” from Dollar General on Sans Souci Parkway about two months before she tainted the Advil bottle at Rite Aid in Wilkes-Barre.
Rite Aid Pharmacy removed children’s chewable Advil from its shelves in multiple stores, and Dollar General removed children’s and adult Tylenol from stores across a multistate region to protect the public, according to federal prosecutors.
Holman’s attorney, Ingrid Cronin, filed a memorandum seeking a reduction in Holman’s sentence due to her taking responsibility by pleading guilty and because imprisonment would cause a hardship for her in caring for her four children, who have medical and learning disabilities.
Holman is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13.