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Auburn pharmacist charged with narcotics violations

Investigators find expired controlled substance pill bottles refilled with M&Ms
By: Staff report
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An Auburn pharmacist’s certification was suspended Monday after authorities confirmed he was knowingly dispensing fraudulent prescriptions. Thomas Lee Husak, 71, owns and operates Skyridge Pharmacy on the 600 block of Auburn-Folsom Road in Auburn. On Monday his Drug Enforcement Administration Certificate of Registration was suspended, which means Husak cannot fill Schedule II-V controlled substances. The investigation began in May 2008 when the Auburn Police Department received information alleging that Husak was filling fraudulent prescriptions and providing prescription medications to people without valid prescriptions. On Oct. 2, the Auburn Police Department and DEA officials used warrants to search the pharmacy and Husak’s home on the 100 block of Lloyd Way in Auburn. The search of his home revealed he possessed controlled substances from Skyridge Pharmacy that were allegedly obtained without valid prescriptions. Law enforcement also discovered numerous expired bottles of oxycodone and OxyContin, set for destruction, that had been emptied and refilled with M&M’s candies, and resealed, so as to appear unopened. Officials also determined that the pharmacy had no records for more than 20,000 dosage units of hydrocodone products. An inventory also revealed excessive shortages and overages of controlled substances. The pharmacist was arrested and charged with three counts of state narcotics violations related to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs from Skyridge Pharmacy. He was later released on a $250,000 bond and continued to work as a pharmacist at Skyridge. “The illegal distribution of pharmaceutical drugs has a negative impact on our community and I am thankful for our diligence in this investigation,” said Auburn Police Chief Valerie Harris in a prepared statement. “Without the hard work and cooperation between the DEA and Auburn Police Department this accomplishment would not have been possible.” The Placer County District Attorney’s Office charged Husak with about 50 counts of state narcotics violations and four misdemeanor counts of state sexual misconduct violations, to include unlawful use of force on another person and touching an intimate part of another person for sexual arousal. The DEA’s investigation of Skyridge Pharmacy has determined that the continued registration of this company constitutes an imminent danger to public health and safety. The Immediate Suspension Order is for Skyridge Pharmacy’s controlled substance registration and prohibits Husak from possessing or dispensing controlled substances, pending resolution of this investigation. Skyridge Pharmacy received written notice of the factual and legal basis for this action. Additionally, Skyridge Pharmacy will be given an opportunity for an administrative hearing, and after the hearing, the DEA Deputy Administrator will make a final decision on whether Skyridge Pharmacy DEA Certificates of Registration should be permanently revoked. This decision will be published in the Federal Register.