Ex-Tripler employee sentenced for theft of painkillers

A former Tripler Army Medical Center pharmacy technician who stole more than 8,000 pills containing hydrocodone and oxycodone from the hospital’s pharmacy vault is going to jail for a year.

Senior U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor handed down the 12-month sentence for Olivia Ronquilio Tuesday. Gillmor also ordered Ronquilio, 36, to undergo six years of probation-like court supervision after she completes her jail term.

Gillmor told Ronquilio that the jail term and lengthy court supervision is necessary because she stole the prescription painkillers during a period of over a year, not only supplied them to her drug-abusing boyfriend but used some herself, put her child at risk by staying in an abusive relationship and even took her boyfriend to buy heroin.

When she was arrested in March, Ronquilio told authorities that she gave the pills to her boyfriend for his personal use. She pleaded guilty in June to one count each of possessing with the intent to distribute hydrocodone and oxycodone. Both drugs are Schedule II controlled substances.

Each of the 8,505 pills Ronquilio stole contained 5 milligrams of either painkiller.

Ronquilio repaid Tripler $1,033 before sentencing.

She was able to steal the pills by taking advantage of the hospital’s new automated medication distribution and tracking system, which she discovered did not require submitting a valid prescription to dispense medication to patients being discharged.

Between February 2017 and March of this year Ronquilio used her authorized access to the system, which required her fingerprint and unique login, to conduct 82 fraudulent transactions for hydrocodone and oxycodone. The hospital’s surveillance cameras recorded video of Ronquilio making the transactions.

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