4 Weather Alerts //
- Weather Alert 1 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 10 at…
- Weather Alert 2 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 10 at…
- Weather Alert 3 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 10 at…
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - More than two-and-a-half years after federal agents raided Kentwood Pharmacy's locations in Michigan and Missouri, three men are preparing to enter pleas in federal court.
In court documents filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors accused Thomas Verhage, James Orr and Eugene Biegert of misbranding drugs. Sources told 24 Hour News 8 that federal prosecutors have reached plea deals in the case, and those deals will be filed with the court Wednesday afternoon in Grand Rapids.
Since at least 2005, federal prosecutors allege in court documents that employees of Kentwood Pharmacy picked up drugs from adult foster homes and nursing homes as they delivered new medication. After the drugs were processed by billers, packers would empty them from their container and group them by drug type. A pharmacist would confirm the drugs were the same as the bottles in stock, and either the pharmacist or the packer would put them in the new bottles.
If there were too many pills, they would put the extra pills in amber vials, often using the old label to identify the vials, and place them next to full stock bottles.
At any time, employees estimated, up to 90% of the stock bottles on the shelf contained returned drugs.
Many of the drugs came from multi-unit dose packages, which contain multiple drugs intended for an individual. By separating and restocking these pills, the pharmacy risked cross-contamination as different pills would often rub together in the original package. This risked an allergic reaction to an amount of unintended medication being included with the repackaged pills.
Prosecutors say Verhage, Orr and Beiger each knew they were dispensing repackaged drugs and that the homes and insurance providers believed they were paying for drugs that complied with federal law, and that the defendants acted with intent to defraud and mislead.
The crime they are accused of carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, one year supervised release and a $250,000 fine. A judge will determine actual sentence they will receive.
As part of the plea agreements, Verhage, Orr and Biegert will cooperate with federal authorities in this and other investigations.
Noticeably absent from these charging documents is the man who was at the helm of the pharmacy, owner Kim Mulder.
Kentwood Pharmacy had locations in West Michigan, Southeast Michigan and St. Louis, Mo.
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies worked together Tuesday evening to chase down an alleged van thief, despite slippery roads.
A charity lodge where three people were killed back in September 2013 will likely never open again.
Kalamazoo Township Police are asking for your help in finding a 63-year-old man who told people back in November he was going off to die.