St. John's pharmacist charged with trafficking
Ann Marie Burke also suspended by pharmacy board
A St. John's pharmacist was charged with trafficking narcotics Tuesday, the same day that the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board suspended her.
Ann Marie Burke, 54, was charged with possession of oxycodone — the drug found in such powerful painkillers as OxyContin — and possession with the purpose of trafficking.
Burke appeared in provincial court in a bathrobe and slippers, several hours after the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary raided her condominium on LeMarchant Road.
Burke worked at Downtown Pharmacy on the west end of Water Street, in downtown St. John's.
Police said investigators found more than 1,000 prescription pills, in addition to cash, a stun gun, bear spray and what police described as "property believed to be obtained by crime."
The pills included OxyContin, Percocet and Ritalin, police said.
The pharmacy board suspended Burke Tuesday morning, barring her from working, although registrar Don Rowe said the decision was not related to the police raid or the charges.
Also arrested during the raid was Christopher Robert Hollett, 31, who faces the same charges related to oxycodone, as well as a charge of possession of a prohibited weapon.
Hollett also faces three charges of breaching court orders.
Burke and Hollett were both remanded to custody and are expected to appear in provincial court on Wednesday.
The charges against Burke come less than a week after St. John's pharmacists Lloyd Matthew Bennett and John Gerald Whalen were charged with more than 200 counts of fraud and other charges, following a lengthy investigation into their billings.
The Bennett and Whalen case is not related to the charges laid Tuesday.
"To get one black eye in a week [is one thing] but to get two in one week is disturbing and disappointing," Rowe told CBC News.
"But on the other hand our board role is to protect the public."
Rowe had no comment on the raid and the criminal charges brought against Burke.