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Three pharmacy workers arrested in Spring Hill drug sting

SPRING HILL — Authorities swooped into a Spring Hill pharmacy with search warrants Tuesday, arresting the owner, a pharmacist and another employee on charges of filling fake drug prescriptions.

The arrests were part of a months-long investigation into Glory Pharmacy at 5192 Mariner Blvd. Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation of the pharmacy, including the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florida Department of Health.

The owner of the pharmacy, Olatunji L. Olubude, 50, of Lutz, faces a charge of trafficking in oxycodone. The pharmacist, Peter Barone, 55, of Hudson was charged with unlawful dispensing of a controlled substance. And another pharmacy employee, Kehinde Olayisade, 48, of Tampa faces a charge of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.

They were all booked into the Hernando County Jail, with Olubude and Olayisade each remaining in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail. Barone also remained behind bars, facing a $1,000 bond.

According to arrest affidavits, detectives in the Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics Unit conducted an undercover sting at the pharmacy last Wednesday.

One of the detectives called the pharmacy in advance to ask if they had "180 blues," street slang for 30 milligrams of oxycodone tablets. Olayisade told the detective that they did have the pills and that he could buy them at the pharmacy, the report states.

The detective brought along a fake prescription for 30 tablets, with a fictitious physician, practicing address and no DEA number on the prescription.

At the pharmacy, Olubude allegedly told the detective that he could get a discount for bringing more customers to the pharmacy. When the detective responded that he could bring in about five customers a week, Olubude reportedly agreed to a price of about $4 a pill for future visits.

"It should be noted that this is not common practice at pharmacies," the Sheriff's Office said.

Olubude then told the detective he was "leery" about filling out the prescription and said he was unable to reach anyone at the phone number listed on the scrip. But Olubude filled the prescription after finding the detective's name in a binder for previous customers, the report states.

Authorities later determined that they bought 179 pills — 17.9 grams — of oxycodone from the pharmacy. Detectives paid for the pills with $720 in cash.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Three pharmacy workers arrested in Spring Hill drug sting 10/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9:32am]
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