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Post-Office Pill-Popper Makes Off With Veterans Meds

Mail truck driver denied everything until confronted with videotaped evidence.

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Post Office Pill-age
Photo via thinkstockphotos

By Kirwan Gray

05/18/11

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A not-so-funny thing happened to a batch of prescription pills on their way to Alabama veterans who get their medications from the Veterans Administration: They disappeared in the mail. Authorities were alerted to a potential problem in Conecuh County after veterans complained to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that their prescription medications were not arriving as usual. One point for you, if you suspected an inside job. No points at all for guessing which drug was involved. Derek Wayne Reed, who was employed as a contract driver trucking mail from one postal facility to another, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of theft of stolen mail after admitting that he stole 90 hydrocodone pills from the mail stream at a post office in Monroeville, Alabama, last July.

At the second trial last month, after a hung jury in the first outing, prosecutors unveiled a surveillance video that showed Reed moving a package of Lortab from a mail bin to his truck. Lawyers for Reed argued that it was impossible to tell from the video what the package contained. One of the veterans testified that he receives 11 different medications through the mail, and failed to receive his Lortab for the pain of spinal stenosis and a degenerative disk. The indictment also said that Reed had stolen prescription drugs from the USPS on at least three other occasions, wrote Brenden Kirby of the Mobile Press-Register. Mail order is convenient, but it presents certain opportunities for a certain kind of person.

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