Colorado Pharmacists Plead Guilty to Illegally Distributing Opioids
Two pharmacists pleaded guilty to felony charges for illegally distributing controlled substances in Colorado.
Stanley G. Callas and Scott Alan Eskanos entered guilty pleas in federal court, where they will be sentenced in March.
The case reaffirmed Colorado's commitment to enforcing drug laws as the state suffers through the deadliest year of overdoses in its history.
The pharmacist cases stem from sales as far back as 2012, when Callas and Eskanos distributed controlled substances from their Crown Point and Sky Ridge pharmacies.
On one occasion, Callas illegally dispensed morphine, meperidine, and lorazepam. He filled prescriptions for more than 2,000 morphine sulfate tablets -- "extraordinary amounts" for a 90-supply, the Denver Post reported.
He also distributed more than 3,600 pills of opioids, amphetamines, and other controlled substances on five other occasions. According to reports, Eskanos dispensed 840 oxycodone tablets in one transaction and 1,500 pills of oxycodone and diazepam three other times.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors said the defendants will surrender their licenses and not seek new ones.
The opioid crisis has shaken the country, but in Colorado the epidemic has morphed into an overdose crisis. Last year, drug overdoses killed more people than car crashes.
"Yes, it's getting worse, and it continues to grow," said Rob Valuck, the director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Prevention. "It's a long problem. I'm of the mind that it's going to be anywhere from five to 10 years until we see this thing turn."
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