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Archive for Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Eight plead not guilty in insulin thefts

July 13, 2004

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— Eight of the 11 people charged in an alleged scheme to steal insulin and insulin test strips from U.S. Army pharmacies pleaded not guilty Monday in federal court.

The defendants were all released on $10,000 bond after being arraigned. Their next court dates have not been scheduled.

The 11 were indicted last week in what U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren said was a $2 million plot to steal the supplies between 2002 and 2004 from Fort Riley; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Ft. Lee, Va.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

Nine of those indicted were Army pharmacy technicians on active duty; the two others were technicians' wives. The technicians were in charge of post pharmacies.

All were charged with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of forfeiture of $2.3 million in currency plus real estate in Virginia.

A 10-month investigation was sparked by a traffic stop in Topeka, during which officers reportedly found a substantial amount of stolen pharmacy goods in the possession of Eric A. Hernandez, 21, a pharmacy technician at Fort Riley.

Those appearing in court Monday included Hernandez; Ronald Ausberry, 27, of Peterburg, Va., stationed at Fort Lee; Stefan M. Carty, 33, Wheaton, Maryland, stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; John W. Cooper, 28, Elizabethtown, Ky., stationed at Fort Knox; Hazra Kishun, 27, Manhattan, Fort Riley; Wakan G. Stamm, 28, Leesville, La., Fort Polk; Sabrina Ausberry, 22, Petersburg, Va., Ronald Ausberry's wife; and Donna L. Cooper, Elizabethtown, Ky., John Cooper's wife.

First appearance dates have not yet been set for Antoine D. Brown, 25, Illesheim, Germany, stationed at Fort Polk; Michael M. Harper, 29, Augusta, Ga., Fort Gordon; and Max H. Thomas, 22, Fort Riley.

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