Gift Stores Owner, Patricia Padilla Pleads Guilty To Unlawfully Prescribing And Distributing Controlled Substances And Prescription Drugs, Generating Nearly $1.7 Million In Sales
Defendant Met “Patients” in Back Rooms of Stores, Wrote “Prescriptions” on Note Cards, and Sold Prescription Drugs at Front of Stores
LAS VEGAS, NE (STL.News) A Las Vegas gift stores owner pleaded guilty to the unlawful prescription and distribution of controlled substances and prescription drugs at her two stores, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada.
Patricia Padilla, 62, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, and one count of conspiracy to import prescription drugs and distributing prescription drugs when not licensed as an importer, wholesaler, a pharmacist, and practitioner. U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 11, 2021.
According to court documents and admissions made in court by Padilla, she owned and operated Sinaloa Store, Inc. (from approximately May 30, 2013 to August 18, 2020) and Deportes Y Mas Store, Inc. (from May 2019 to August 18, 2020), both gift stores in Las Vegas. Padilla would meet “patients” with an alleged medical problem or condition in a back room of a store. On a note card, she would write a “prescription” for controlled substances to treat the alleged medical problem or condition. The patient would then pay an employee at the front of the store to “fill” the prescription. To ensure the stores’ drug inventories were stocked, Padilla conspired with others to import prescription drugs and controlled substances in bulk quantities from Mexico and El Salvador into the United States.
Padilla has no state or federal license that would have permitted her to lawfully prescribe, distribute, or dispense controlled substances. The total amount of drug proceeds seized from Padilla during the investigation was $1,698,655.60.
The maximum statutory penalties faced by Padilla are: (a) 10 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance; (b) five years in prison for conspiracy to import prescription drugs and distributing prescription drugs when not licensed as an importer, wholesaler, a pharmacist, and practitioner; (c) a period of supervised release; and (d) a monetary fine.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Levitt is prosecuting the case.