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Lawyer seeks leniency for Redstone pharmacist's 'mistake'

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County pharmacist accused of selling narcotics to a confidential police informant made a mistake but should not have to go to jail, according to his attorney.

Edward Samuel Wilcox, 63, of 7 Stockton Ave., Uniontown, is charged through the Fayette County Drug Task Force with numerous counts of controlled substance violations, including a number of felonies. Police said Wilcox sold Vicodin and Xanax, both narcotics, to the female informant nine times between March 2011 and May 2012.

The sales occurred at Wilcox's pharmacy on Main Street in Redstone, according to police.

Wilcox in January entered a plea of no contest to a felony charge and guilty pleas to the remaining counts, according to court records.

Wilcox does not have a plea bargain in place, meaning the sentence is at the court's discretion.

During a sentencing hearing on Tuesday before Judge Steve Leskinen, Davis pointed out Wilcox sold just two to four tablets each time to the woman. He charged the woman just $1 or $2 each, which Davis said is less than the street price of $5 to $8 each.

In addition, Davis said the woman asked for the tablets because either she, or her father-in-law had prescriptions for them, but had run out before they were eligible for refills or new prescriptions.

“It wasn't for the street price; it wasn't to make money,” Davis said.

“Mr. Wilcox made a mistake, and he pled guilty,” Davis said. “Mr. Wilcox is a good man. Good people make mistakes. I'm asking you not to sentence him to a period of incarceration. It is fair under the circumstances.”

Davis introduced pharmacy labels for the woman and her father-in-law that indicated both had prescriptions for the medications, but Heneks noted that one of the prescriptions expired a year before the police investigation began and the other was valid only for the last month of the investigation.

Heneks noted that whether or not the woman and her father-in-law had previously obtained prescriptions for the drugs at the pharmacy, Wilcox's duties as a pharmacist were “to make sure” they had the proper documentation for the medications.

Leskinen said he had been prepared to sentence Wilcox to a term of probation, but after hearing from Davis, District Attorney Jack Heneks and a prosecution witness, he continued the hearing to 1:30 p.m. June 10 give the attorneys time to gather additional witnesses.

Wilcox is free on bond and the pharmacy has closed. In September, his pharmacy license was suspended, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media.

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