The Drug Enforcement Administration raided and shut down a Waldorf, Maryland, pharmacy because the agency considers it “an imminent danger to the public health and safety.”
The DEA said Northgate Pharmacy at 3973 Saint Charles Parkway compromised the community’s safety by illegally distributing controlled substances, such as oxycodone, and “exploiting vulnerable and addicted females” in exchange for drugs.
The DEA said that Northgate could not account for tens of thousands of dosage units of highly addictive drugs, such as oxycodone.
“The diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances is of great concern for the DEA and taking criminals like this, who use their position in the community to take such advantage of vulnerable people, is why we do what we do,” said Jarod Forget, special agent in charge of the DEA Washington Division.
The raid on the business Thursday involved the DEA’s Washington Division’s Tactical Diversion Squad, along with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Prince George’s County Police Department.
Forget said that the independent pharmacy, owned and operated by Vincent Ippolito, needed to be held accountable.
“We trust our pharmacists are taking care of us — providing proper medications to legitimate patients,” he said.” However, when bad actors choose to take advantage of that position, people suffer, drug dealers prosper, and our community’s safety is compromised.”
The pharmacy operator was originally arrested in September for illegally distributing pharmaceuticals. According to the DEA, Ippolito, the pharmacist-in-charge, illegally distributed pharmaceuticals without a legitimate medical purpose and let an employee, Denise Shifflett, take pharmaceuticals from the pharmacy and illegally distribute them on the street.
Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry commended the collaboration between various agencies, including those in Loudoun County and Prince George’s counties.
“Our mission, always, is to help eradicate the illegal distribution of drugs that have negatively impacted the lives of many families,” Berry said.