Tech Arrested for Theft from Health-System Pharmacy

A health-system pharmacy caught one of its pharmacy technicians allegedly stealing remifentanil and trying to cover it up using the pharmacy's computer system.

A health-system pharmacy caught one of its pharmacy technicians allegedly stealing remifentanil and trying to cover it up using the pharmacy’s computer system.

Lennon Welsh, 32, from Bend, Oregon, has been arrested on theft, drug possession, computer crime, and other charges related to $10,000 worth of missing remifentanil from the St. Charles Bend health-system pharmacy, KTVZ reported. Police said some evidence suggests that Welsh may have been selling the drug as well as taking them for his own personal use.

The hospital caught wind of the thefts, confronted Welsh, and then contacted the police, according to KTVZ. Police said at least 200 vials of remifentanil were stolen since the beginning of the year.

Two vehicles associated with Welsh turned up evidence that linked him to the remifentanil thefts, police said.

In Welsh’s home, police found ketamine, oxycodone/acetaminophen, and methadone. They also found 2 handguns, 2 semi-automatic rifles, and a shotgun—all of which were seized by police.

The hospital provided KTVZ with a statement that it was “deeply concerned” with the situation and striving to find gaps in its processes so that a situation like this could not happen again.

“Because this is now an active criminal investigation, we’re deferring to the Bend Police Department to comment on the specifics of this case,” hospital spokeswoman Lisa Goodman told the news outlet. “And because as a matter of policy we don’t comment on personnel issues, we can’t provide any more information about the caregiver involved or what if any actions will be taken in regards to his employment.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the state board of pharmacy have been notified of the incident.