Friday, July 11, 2014

Woman pleads guilty to medication tampering

February 04. 2014 10:41PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A city woman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to tampering with a bottle of children’s medication that a consumer was purchased from the Rite Aid Pharmacy on East Northampton Street last year.

Federal prosecutors said Yolanda Holman, 35, of Waller Street, removed chewable children’s Advil tablets from its bottle and replaced the medicine with prescription pills and muscle relaxers on Aug. 23. Holman then had her daughter return the tampered bottle in order to retrieve the purchase money.

Holman could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when she is sentenced at a later date. She entered her guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick.

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.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Michelle Olshefski said during the hearing that Holman admitted to switching the chewable tablets with muscle relaxers and other pills in her home on Aug. 23.

Holman purchased the Advil at the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard in Wilkes-Barre Township, switched the pills and resealed the box with super glue, Olshefski said.

Olshefski said Holman had her daughter return the tainted bottle at the Rite Aid location on East Northampton Street.

Agents with the FBI traced the bottle to its original purchase by a tracking number on the return receipt. Surveillance video at the Rite Aid recorded Holman buying the Advil tablets, Olshefski said.

Olshefski said agents went to Holman’s residence and quickly spotted Tylenol tablets in a coffee cup and the same type of muscle relaxer pills found in the tainted bottle in a medicine cabinet in Holman’s residence.

The discovery of the tainted bottle caused Rite Aid to remove children’s Advil tablets from their stores in the area, Olshefski said.

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