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PHOENIXVILLE - A Phoenixville woman was ordered to stand trial in district court Thursday morning on drug charges after she allegedly stole 70 Oxycontin pills while employed at Gateway Pharmacy last October.

According to court testimony, Doug Syrylo, head pharmacist, Gateway Pharmacy, said he questioned then-pharmacy technician Betty Hallman, 22, of the 200 block of Church Street, Phoenixville, regarding their Oxycontin inventory at 9:49 a.m. Oct. 22.

"The pharmacy had a delivery of 20 mg Oxycontin pills that morning," said Syrylo. "The shipment was 300 pills, which is three bottles. A prescription came in for 70 Oxycontin pills. I filled that prescription and noticed there was only one bottle left in the cabinet. I asked Betty why was there only one bottle left in the cabinet. She told me she accidentally opened one bottle and poured the rest into another bottle."

Syrylo said he checked with the other pharmacist and pharmacy technicians working that morning about the missing Oxycontin pills.

"I checked with the others if prescriptions for Oxycontin came in," he said. "Our computer keeps track of how many prescriptions come in and 179 of the Oxycontin pills were legitimately dispensed. We checked the computer before we questioned Betty. Our pharmacy technicians can count out narcotics under the supervision of a pharmacist."

Gateway Pharmacy owner Henry Katra testified he received a phone call from Syrylo regarding the missing Oxycontin pills.

"I was made aware of the problem we were having with the missing pills," said Katra. "I was advised that Hallman may be a suspect. Our loss prevention officer, Joan Karr, escorted Hallman to my office and I spoke with her. She admitted to me that she took the pills and had been doing it from August through October. She told me she's sold the pills for $10 to $15 per pill. Betty told me that she concealed the pills on her person."

Hallman was escorted into the women's bathroom by Karr and presented to her a bag of Oxycontin pills, said Katra.

"In Hallman's purse, we discovered an additional bag of Oxycodone pills," said Katra. "Betty told us she got the bag from another source, and not from the pharmacy."

After hearing all of the testimony, District Justice Ted Michaels held the charges over for trial.

Hallman is charged with possession of a controlled substance; possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession with the intent to deliver drug paraphernalia; theft by unlawful taking or disposition; receiving stolen property; and retail theft.

She remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2004.

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