08/08/05 — Teen charged with stealing drugs from hospital

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Teen charged with stealing drugs from hospital

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on August 8, 2005 1:48 PM

The 16-year-old son of a Wayne Memorial Hospital vice president has been charged with stealing narcotics from the hospital pharmacy.

Thomas Bradshaw II was charged by the State Bureau of Investigation with two felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery.

He was released under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Bradshaw, who was working at the time as a junior volunteer at the hospital, is accused of using another employee's security password to access a drug-dispensing machine and obtain prescription painkillers.

In one warrant, Bradshaw was charged with obtaining nine tablets of Oxycodone, which is known as OxyContin, five tablets of Methodone, one tablet of morphine sulfate and two tablets of Hydromorphone. In the other warrant, he was charged with obtaining five syringes of morphine sulfate and two syringes of Hydromorphone.

When the theft was discovered, hospital officials followed procedure for drug theft or misuse and contacted law enforcement authorities and the state Board of Pharmacy, said Jean Lee, the chairman of the hospital's board of trustees.

The offenses allegedly occurred on July 7 and 9. The charges were filed by Special Agent C.V. Cherry III of the SBI.

Bradshaw's father said today that his son had been threatened by someone seeking to obtain the medication illegally. He was told that if he did not obtain the drugs that he and his family would be harmed, the elder Bradshaw said.

"His life was threatened and the lives of his family, and that's why he did what he did," the elder Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw allegedly gained access to an Accudose machine, which is a computerized medicine cabinet that is placed on patient floors, Mrs. Cain said. The cabinet can be accessed by an authorized person, such as a nurse or pharmacist, only with the right password and other correct information, she said.

The next court appearance for Bradshaw, who is represented by Goldsboro lawyer Glenn Barfield, is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Bradshaw was charged May 20 by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was ordered to attend Teen Court. If he fulfills the requirements of the punishment imposed by his peers before his next appearance in District Court, the charge could be expunged from his record.

Mrs. Cain said hospital officials did not consider removing Bradshaw as a volunteer after the marijuana charge because it was being handled by Teen Court. The elder Bradshaw said only a small amount of marijuana was involved.

Junior volunteers perform such light administrative work as clerical duties, filing and running errands. The volunteers are chosen through an application process. Mrs. Cain said there were minimum age and-or grade requirements. As many as 40 young people may work at the hospital during the summer as junior volunteers.

Cain said the employee whose password was used does not face any disciplinary action.

If Bradshaw is convicted of the charges, District Attorney Branny Vickory said the punishment would determined by a Superior Court judge.

"This is a very serious matter," Vickory said.