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The former manager of the Anne Arundel police crime lab is expected to plead guilty to charges that she stole prescription drugs from drop boxes at district stations, a string of thefts prosecutors now say extended over two years.
Annette Alchin Box, 48, of Pasadena faces an additional charge of misconduct in office, court records show, because the thefts took place between Aug. 16, 2014, and Dec. 21, 2016.
She was originally charged with stealing discarded prescription medications at the department’s drop boxes, which are at all four of the agency’s district stations and its Millersville headquarters. They public can use them to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription medications.
While police said Box was found with a wide assortment of medications when she was arrested on Dec. 21 including 50 pills of Hydromorphone and 29 pills of Tramadol court documents state she was also taking oxycodone from the department’s storage area. All three drugs are opioid pain medications.
The court documents do not detail whether Box was taking the drugs for personal use or to sell nor do they detail the amount Box allegedly took. She has not been charged with drug distribution.
A plea hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 4, online court records state.
Peter O’Neill, Box’s attorney, declined to comment. Drug Enforcement Agency to conduct a full audit and inventory of the lab.
Police spokesman Marc Limansky declined to release the audit findings or the inventory results, saying the two were tied to the ongoing investigation.
He said the auditors made recommendations to change department policy, changes police have adopted. He declined to identify what those changes were.
Limansky said the department has repositioned the surveillance cameras near the drop boxes so they point directly at them and the pickup of the drugs is recorded.
In addition, the department has reinforced its existing policy of requiring an additional officer to supervise and approve the transaction when the boxes are emptied each week, Limansky said.
The day after her arrest, police said Box who had a key to the drop boxes was not supervised while she was handling the drugs.
It is unclear exactly how many times Box allegedly stole from the department. Police and the state’s attorney’s office declined to comment on the new allegations that she took the drugs over a two year period.
Box said last year that she had picked up the medications “many, many times” and that the drugs found in her car were the result of her merely forgetting to take them to the crime lab.
However, charging documents state that police first observed her daughter carrying trash bags from her mother’s pickup truck to a resident’s home after responding to a call of a two vehicle crash involving Box.
When police inspected them, they found plastic bags filled with prescription drugs.
Police then executed a search warrant at her home and said they found additional medications. Police added they expected more charges as the investigation continued.
Box had been with the department since 2004 and a supervisor since 2012. Before she was suspended, county records show she made nearly $90,000 as of August 2015.