News Releases

August 26, 2020: Former Hospital Worker Pleads to Stealing Anti-Malaria Medication

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Greg Risling, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

A former pharmacy technician pleaded no contest today to stealing anti-malaria tablets earlier this year from a hospital where he worked, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Christopher Mencias Agustin (dob 11/22/84) of Torrance entered his plea to one felony count each of receiving stolen property exceeding $950 and sale/offer to sell or transport a controlled substance.

He was immediately sentenced to four days in county jail and placed on formal probation for three years. He also was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and cannot work at a pharmacy.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Fern of the Cyber Crime Division prosecuted the case.

In March, the defendant entered Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to steal prescription drugs. More than 700 tablets of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which are used to treat malaria and touted to possibly combat COVID-19, were taken.

The estimated total value of the tablets is about $6,700, the prosecutor said.

Case BA486647 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.