It is unclear exactly why U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials and Kentucky State Police were seen outside Stephanie’s Down Home Pharmacy in Corbin Wednesday morning.
Kevin McWilliams, Public Information Officer for the Louisville Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency, confirmed in an e-mail to the News Journal that the DEA did visit the pharmacy Wednesday.
“While we are a federal law enforcement agency, we also have regulatory authority in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act. Part of our mandate is to visit pharmacies to ensure that they are compliant with respect to the safe handling of controlled substances and associated record keeping. These visits can include a pill count (inventory verification), staff interviews, and a thorough examination of records, which requires the pharmacy to suspend operations for the duration of our visit,” McWilliams said in the e-mail.
“In an effort to minimize this disruption of business to the pharmacy, DEA often enlists the help of our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts, so that we can get in and out as quickly as possible. This often results in what appears to be a large law enforcement presence, which can sometimes fuel speculation about DEA’s actions. Our presence does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing on the part of a business or individual.”
No one answered the phone at the pharmacy Tuesday afternoon when a reporter called seeking comment.
Stephanie Collins, owner of Stephanie’s Down Home Pharmacy, did not respond to a social media request for comment.
No indictment or other information, if there is any, has yet been made public in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky regarding anyone at the pharmacy, a News Journal review of federal court records indicates.
Neither the Corbin Police Department nor the Knox County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the DEA’s visit Wednesday in Corbin, according to both departments.
According to the Kentucky Secretary of State business filing records, Collins opened Stephanie’s Down Home Pharmacy in October 2011.
According to the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, both the pharmacy and Collins are currently up to date on their licensure requirements.
The pharmacy has a violation on its record with the board.
According to the 2016 agreed order, between Jan. 4 and Feb. 12 a pharmacist worked at Stephanie’s without being appropriately licensed with the Board.
The pharmacy was fined $100, which was paid.
In 2018, law enforcement officials pursued an unconnected legal action regarding a pharmacist in Williamsburg.
Kimberly Jones, the owner of Kim’s Hometown Pharmacy in Williamsburg, was indicted on 30 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, specifically Oxycodone and Oyxmorphone, five counts of dispensing Hydrocodone and Oyxcodone not for a legitimate medical purpose, one count of opening and maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing controlled substance outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, and one count of healthcare fraud.
According to testimony at the trial, which lasted eight days, Jones repeatedly filled prescriptions for significant quantities of Oxycodone and other controlled substances from a variety of out-of-state doctors.
The customers were area patients who had travelled as far as Boca Raton, Florida, near Miami, to secure the prescriptions. The evidence also established that Jones dispensed controlled substances to certain customers who did not have valid prescriptions at the time Jones dispensed the medications.
Jones was convicted of unlawfully dispensing controlled substances and dispensing substances to patients outside the scope of professional service, and was sentenced to six-and–a–half years in prison.