Bayonne pharmacy tech. arrested for stealing Rx pills



Bayonne pharmacy technician charged with stealing prescription pills and selling them to buy marijuana

Published: Monday, June 04, 2012, 7:20 AM     Updated: Monday, June 04, 2012, 7:25 AM

A 21-year-old Bayonne man who was working as a pharmacy technician at a local drug store has admitted stealing prescription drugs from the store, selling the pills and using the money to buy pot, police officials said yesterday.

Mena Mekhael, 21, of Lord Avenue, was arrested as he was leaving Jerry's Drug & Surgical Supply at 455 Broadway near West 21st Street, at 6:45 p.m. Friday, police said.

Mekhael, who admitted to stealing over 2,000 prescription pills over a six-month period, was charged with theft of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), possession of CDS Oxycontin, possession of CDS Xanax, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, police said.

On Friday morning, the store's head pharmacist reported to police that 2,119 Oxycontin pills were missing from the pharmacy's inventory and said he suspected Mekhael, Bayonne Acting Police Chief Ralph Scianni said yesterday.

Police set up surveillance and watched as Mekhael went back and forth from the store to his car several times that day, Scianni said.

When police arrested Mekhael he was carrying 20 Oxycontin pills and 17 Xanax pills in his pockets, Scianni said, adding that a search of Mekhael's car turned up six more Oxycontin pills and four more Xanax pills, as well as a bag of marijuana.

Mekhael admitted to stealing more than 2,000 pills since he started working at the pharmacy in December and using the profits to buy marijuana, Scianni said.

The stolen pills have an estimated street value of about $62,000, Scianni said, adding Mekhael changed and forged computer records in the store using the head pharmacist's login to cover his tracks during his thefts.

Mekhael was also charged with two counts of possession of CDSs within 500 feet of public housing complexes, forgery, and criminal activity related to a computer, police said.

Bayonne police seized Mekhael's pharmacy license, Scianni said.

Mekhael is being held at Hudson County jail on $50,000 bail and is expected to make his first appearance on the charges at Central Judicial Processing court in Jersey City today, officials said.