Pharmacist Michael Lomangino must have picked up “The Idiot’s Guide to Breaking Bad” to kick-start his career as a drug runner. Since he didn’t have access to a state-of-the-art meth lab underneath an industrial laundromat, he figured stealing pills from his work and reselling them on the street was the next best thing.
That is, of course, until Lomangino and an accomplice got busted by a sheriff’s deputy. It looks like Mr. Gus Fring won’t be contacting these two to set up a meeting at Los Pollos Hermanos any time soon.
Lomangino and his 28-year old accomplice, Allina Kirkland-Michaud, were pulled over in DeLand, Florida, and caught with over 250 prescription pills, a small amount of marijuana, and some drug paraphernalia. When narcotics agents subsequently searched the pharmacist’s home in Edgewater, they made a pretty impressive score, finding ” a veritable home pharmacy“:
Apparently and allegedly, pharmacist Lomangino had been skimming supplies from his employer, Steve’s Pharmacy, for quite some time. What sets him apart from Hollywood’s Walter White is that Lomangino wasn’t doing it to better his family’s life or even really to get rich. Instead, he stole the drugs to help feed his accomplice’s drug addiction:
Roxycodone (or roxicodone) is a brand of oxycodone (oxycodone hydrochloride). It is intended to help relieve moderate to severe pain. Patients can develop an addiction and physical dependence to the medication, known on the street as “roxi”.
Oxycodone is also known on the streets as “hillybilly heroin” because of its frequent abuse in rural southern parts of the United States (including, obviously, Florida, where Mr. Lomangino and Ms. Kirkland-Michaud reside). In these areas, addicts often obtain the drug via fake prescriptions, “doctor shopping” (in which patients visit various doctors in an attempt to score new prescriptions for the same drug), or straight-up theft, which was allegedly the case for Lomangino.
Numerous other prescription drugs were found and according to the Sheriff report, Lomangino admitted stealing them from work:
The pair are currently facing charges of hydrocodone and oxycodone trafficking, illegal possession of a Schedule III and IV narcotic, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Even though prescription medication doesn’t have quite the same stigma as “hard” street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, or crack, it’s still an extremely serious matter to be caught illegally obtaining and distributing prescription drugs. While it’s understandable that Lomangino wanted to try and take care of a loved one, feeding someone’s addiction is not usually the best solution to the problem. Detox and or rehab would have been a better long-term solution than going to jail.
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Update 2013: Channel 9 News reports that Michael Lomangino has received a sentence of 13 years in prison for his drug activities.
Volusia County Sheriff Press Release: A local pharmacist is facing numerous criminal charges after he was accused of stealing powerful prescription pills from the drug store where he works to sell them on the street. Investigators who spent the last two days working the case arrested 41-year-old Michael Lomangino and a female accomplice, seizing more than 5,700 pills, a loaded gun and nearly $5,000 in cash. The initial seizure came early Tuesday morning from a pickup truck that a Volusia County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over near DeLand. The rest of the haul — what narcotics agents described as a veritable home pharmacy — was seized from Lomangino’s house in Edgewater. Investigators are still trying to determine how Lomangino was able to obtain all of the narcotics — everything from oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone to morphine, codeine, xanax and valium. He admitted stealing some of it from Steve’s Pharmacy in Daytona Beach, where Lomangino works as a licensed pharmacist. How he obtained the rest is still a matter for investigators to sort out. Also arrested in the case was 28-year-old Allina Kirkland-Michaud of New Smyrna Beach.
The drug trafficking came to light after what started as a routine traffic stop at about 2:35 a.m. Tuesday morning. That’s when a deputy saw a pick-up truck near DeLand run through two stop signs without coming to a full stop. As the deputy was pulling over the truck, he immediately became suspicious when he noticed one of the passengers turn towards the back as if she was putting something under the seat. A DeLand Police K-9 team also responded to help out, and all three passengers in the truck were detained after the dog alerted to the scent of drugs. A search of the truck turned up 253 prescription pills that turned out to be controlled substances along with a receipt from Steve’s Pharmacy and a trace amount of marijuana. Among the other items seized was a spoon with drug residue on it and a shoelace commonly used to wrap around the arm before injecting drugs. Both Lomangino (DOB: 4/17/70) and Kirkland-Michaud (DOB: 3/13/83) were arrested, while a third passenger was released after deputies concluded that he didn’t have anything to do with the drugs. During questioning by deputies, Lomangino admitted stealing the drugs from his pharmacy over the past few weeks. He said Kirkland-Michaud has a drug addiction and that he feeds it by selling various prescription drugs on the street or trading them for Kirkland-Michaud’s drug of choice, the narcotic pain reliever roxycodone. He said he stole other drugs to sell or trade for the roxycodone because his pharmacy on Mason Avenue doesn’t keep much of it in stock. For her part, Kirkland-Michaud told deputies that Lomangino was a major drug kingpin in the New Smyrna Beach area and that she knew he was using his job at the pharmacy to feed her drug habit.
The defendants face initial charges of trafficking in hydrocodone, trafficking in oxycodone, possession of a schedule III narcotic, possession of a schedule IV narcotic and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both remain jailed, Lomangino on $552,500 bond and Kirkland-Michaud on $527,500 bond. Meanwhile, late Tuesday afternoon, drug agents with the Volusia Bureau of Investigation (VBI) executed a search warrant at Lomangino’s home at 2814 Juniper Drive. They seized another 4,318 prescription pills classified as controlled substances and a loaded handgun. During the course of the investigation, agents also seized another 1,215 prescription pills that are not classified as controlled substances.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending. VBI is a multi-agency task force that pools resources from 10 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to target mid- and upper-level narcotics traffickers as well as racketeering and organized crime. Participating agencies include the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, DeLand Police Department, Port Orange Police Department, New Smyrna Beach Police Department, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. VBI also is part of the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, which is a multi-agency task force established by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy to combat drug trafficking along the seven-county area hugging Central Florida’s I-4 corridor.