Kimberly Jones, pharmacist and owner of a Williamsburg drug store for the last decade or so, “has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison after being convicted of illegally dispensing drugs,” Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove also fined her $5,000 in federal court at London on June 11.
“A jury acquitted Jones on most of the charges against her, but convicted her on seven charges related to illegally dispensing drugs,” Estep writes. “In some cases, Jones gave drugs to people who didn’t have a prescription at the time.”
In letters to the judge, people “described Jones as a hard-working, compassionate woman who supported local schools and adopted a little girl so that the child wouldn’t have to go into foster care,” Estep reports. “One person said she’d seen Jones cry because a doctor prescribed a drug that an elderly person couldn’t afford. But a prosecutor argued that Jones ignored ‘glaring red flags’ that her pharmacy was contributing to the region’s drug problem.”
The Justice Department said Jones continued filling prescriptions from suspicious providers in other states even after the Drug Enforcement Administration warned her about specific doctors. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Smith said in a sentencing memo, “Pharmacists should act as gatekeepers, not enablers. But too many professionals like Jones have been complicit in their patients’ addictions, and our district, like many others across the country, is now grappling with the consequences.”