Local News

October 24, 2012

Judge to rule on drugs seized from grocery store

Couple accused of illegal sale of prescription drugs.

LOGANSPORT — A Logansport couple await a decision on whether the sale of drugs at their store constitutes a felony.

Vincente and Norma Garcia face seven charges stemming from the alleged sale of prescription drugs out of their grocery store. At a hearing Tuesday, attorney Matthew Barrett, who represents the Garcias, argued that the drugs sold were not prescription drugs and that the prosecution could not count the individual ingredients making up the drugs as an offense.

Cass County Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer took the matter under advisement.

The Garcias were two of seven people arrested after the Cass County Drug Task Force and Food and Drug Administration used search warrants on May 25, 2011, in three Logansport stores — Tienda Michoacan, La Fiesta Carniceria and La Hidalguense — to look for prescription drugs. Both agencies had previously conducted controlled drug buys at the stores.

Both Garcias initially faced 11 charges, but three class C felonies of practicing medicine without a license and a class D felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance were dismissed this past summer. The seven remaining charges are three counts of unlawful sale of legend drugs, a class C felony; three counts of unlawful possession or use of a legend drug or precursor, a class D felony; and one count of maintaining a common nuisance for legend drugs, a class B misdemeanor.

The issues brought up at Tuesday’s hearing are only a part of the motion Barrett filed in June, in which he argues that the raid on the store was unconstitutional and that the court should suppress evidence from the raid and the defendants’ statements to police.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Barrett again argued that Pentrexyl and Flanax — the drugs the Garcias are accused of selling — are not prescription drugs because they are not FDA-regulated and not found in the FDA’s “Orange Book,” which governs prescription drug products.

However, the charge information was changed by Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Achey on Oct. 17 to use generic names for ingredients in the drugs instead of using the brand names. The Garcias are accused of selling naproxen sodium and ampecillin, the active ingredients in the drugs.

Barrett protested these charges as well, saying that a prescription drug is defined by the sum of its ingredients.

“A drug ingredient alone is not a drug, let alone a legend drug,” Barrett said.

He added that naproxen sodium is found in other non-prescription drugs.

Because of these issues, Barrett argued that the remaining charges should be dismissed.

Achey countered that because the drugs contained 550 mg of the active ingredients, they did constitute a legend drug, as outlined in the Orange Book.

“I don’t think the charges here should be dismissed because they’re in violation of state law, maybe even of federal law,” Achey said.

At Maughmer’s request, Achey also said he would change the brand names of the drugs to ingredient names in the four remaining charges.

He added that prescription drugs containing ampecillin require a prescription.

During the hearing, Barrett also objected to the fact that he had not received audio recording from a probable cause hearing that he claims occurred May 23, 2011. However, Maughmer said he would rule in the written order that he would stand by his initial ruling, in which he said the hearing did not occur.

“I’m going to deny the motion to reconsider,” Maughmer said.

The penalty for a class C felony is two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and the penalty for a class D felony is six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to a $10,000. The penalty for a class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: July 31, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 31, 2014

  • NWS-PT073114 Hopper2.jpg The right track: Logansport boy advocates railroad crossing safety

    It's not uncommon to see 12-year-old Ethan Hopper sitting in a lawn chair near his father's business on 18th Street in Logansport, his cell phone pointed at a locomotive heading down the nearby tracks. The engines make up a fascination modern technol

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Cass Co. Community Foundation eligible for grant

    The Cass County Community Foundation is eligible to receive half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a matching grant at some point over the course of the next couple of years.Lilly Endowment announced the sixth phase of its Giving Indiana

    July 31, 2014

  • Locals: EPA delay request too late Logansport officials say while they appreciate a state executive’s request to delay new rules on coal power plants, its timing still requires pursuing a new power plant for the city.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published last month its Cl

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 30, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • Area could see higher healthcare premiums Individual premiums for healthcare under the Patents Protection and Affordable Care Act could go up in counties with poorer health, according to a Ball State University study.The study said counties with poor health, specifically high diabetes incide

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Voting2.jpg Round 2: Deadlines approach to file for November election Openings are filling up as deadlines to file approach to run for local town councils and school boards.Up for election this fall are town council seats in Royal Center’s districts No. 2, 3 and at large and at large in Walton as well. The filing deadl

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT073014 Hickman.jpg Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    MONTICELLO — Two were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores. Lindsey R. Hogg, 22, Monticello, and Rachel D. Hickman, 23, Burnettsville, were arrested by the Lafayette

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Not sure
     View Results