Suspect in pill thefts enters plea

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man pleaded guilty to felony drug possession Tuesday to resolve allegations that he squirreled away tens of thousands of tablets of prescription medication while working at a pharmacy.

Bradley William Owens is scheduled to be sentenced in 1st District Court in April. He is free on his own recognizance while the case is pending.

Owens, 33, was accused of spiriting away the narcotics while employed at Sandpoint Super Drug from 2010 to 2012. As many as 18,000 tablets encompassing more than 50 types of medication were taken during that time frame, a Sandpoint Police report alleges.

The value of the stolen medications is listed as $13,000 in court documents.

Changes in Owens’ physical and mental demeanor drew suspicion from coworkers and those suspicions were confirmed by reviewing surveillance camera footage, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Owens possessed medication containing amphetamine, a stimulant that’s used in prescription drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In exchange for a plea to the felony drug charge, the state agreed to dismiss burglary and grand theft charges against Owens.

Owens faces up to seven years in prison, although a pretrial settlement agreement in the case recommends a suspended term and retained jurisdiction, also known as a rider. When the court retains jurisdiction, a defendant serves up to a year in prison before further incarceration or probation is ordered.

Judge Barbara Buchanan tentatively agreed to bind herself to the agreement due to Owens’ lack of a prior criminal record, court records show.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Owens waives his right to appeal his conviction or sentence.

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