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Des Moines pharmacist says he'll fight federal drug charges

The wheels of justice don't always turn swiftly. That's despite language in the Constitution that provides that anyone charged has the right to a speedy trial. Federal crime probes can be particularly slow moving. Indictments can come years after the purported crimes have been committed.

That should not be taken to mean that someone who is subject of a federal criminal investigation should take a relaxed attitude toward the situation. What it means is that the person facing such circumstances has an opportunity to be more proactive in the matter and should be contacting an attorney early for the protection of his or her rights.

What prompts this commentary is news out of Des Moines that a 16-count federal indictment has been unsealed against a long-time local pharmacist. 

The allegations being made against the 52-year-old man include charges of wire fraud, tax evasion and prescription drug offenses.

A second man, a former record store owner, has also been charged with conspiracy in the case. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are free on their own recognizance.

The activity that led to these charges is alleged to have happened some two years ago. According to reports, the legal ball started rolling after state officials raided the pharmacy in May 2012. The basis of the raid was apparently a tip from an informant that the pharmacist had been selling hydrocodone pills under the table to people without prescriptions.

Officials say the suspicion is that nearly 700,000 doses of prescription painkillers disappeared from the store.

The pharmacist maintains that he is innocent and that any wrongdoing must have been the work of someone else at the store. His attorney says his client is pleased to finally be getting his day in court, and he emphasizes that his client enjoys the presumption of innocence that is due all defendants under the constitution.

It is not uncommon for criminal charges to result in consequences even before a case has been resolved. That appears to have happened in this case. The pharmacist was stripped of his license by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy a year ago. 

Source: The Des Moines Register, "Bauder's pharmacist indicted on 16 federal charges," Tony Leys, April 2, 2014 

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