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Tripler employee arrested in theft of narcotics

A Tripler Army Medical Center employee, arrested Friday for allegedly stealing narcotics from the hospital by fraudulently using about 65 patient identities, was charged today in federal court.

The employee, Olivia Ronquilio, was charged by criminal complaint with possession of oxycodone and hydrocodone, which are Schedule II controlled substances, with the intent to distribute the opioid drugs.

The hospital’s March 10 discovery of a shortage of 10 hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablets was allegedly linked to Ronquilio and led to a further investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to a deputy sheriff/DEA task force officer’s affidavit supporting the complaint.

The investigation revealed Ronquilio allegedly used her unique identifier and fingerprint to access Tripler’s automated drug dispensing vault for about 65 patients.

But the Tripler pharmacy staff compared the automated dispensing system with a patient file database and found no legitimate prescriptions for those transactions, the affidavit said.

Tripler reported on Thursday that after taking inventory it found 8,505 tablets narcotics missing and reported it to the Army Criminal Investigation Division Drug Suppression Team, which notified the DEA and asked for its help.

The DEA task force officer reviewed on Friday the surveillance footage from December to March 10. He saw Ronquilio use her login to remove various types of narcotics from the vault, create fake prescriptions and hid “the pilfered prescription narcotics until she departed the facility at the end of her workday,” the affidavit said.

DEA task force officers arrested Ronquilio at 10:36 p.m. Friday, and after investigators advised her of her Miranda rights, she reportedly stated she used her login to access Tripler’s drug vault to remove narcotics without a valid prescription and gave them to another person.

The government also asked the court to detain Ronquilio without bail because she could face 10 or more years for the drug charges.

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