Pharmacist accused of diverting 700,000 painkillers

April 25, 2014

The owner of a historic Des Moines, Iowa pharmacy faces up to 250 years in prison following his recent indictment on 16 federal charges, including conspiracy to distribute drugs, tax evasion, and wire fraud.

The owner of a historic Des Moines, Iowa pharmacy faces up to 250 years in prison following his recent indictment on 16 federal charges, including conspiracy to distribute drugs, tax evasion, and wire fraud.

The indictment of Mark Graziano, 52, principal owner of Bauder Pharmacy, came nearly two years after state officials discovered nearly 700,000 doses of narcotic painkillers missing from the pharmacy. A second man, Andrew Michael Enloe, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute drugs. Both men have pled not guilty.

Graziano’s pharmacy was raided in 2012 after law enforcement officials received information that he was selling hydrocodone pills out the pharmacy’s back door.

According to the grand jury indictment, Graziano ordered large amounts of hydrocodone "to create a supply of divertible controlled substances." The indictment accuses him of ordering the pills from multiple wholesalers, up to 10 per month, to avoid detection. Enloe allegedly sold the drugs for cash to people without prescriptions.

Between 2008 through 2012, Graziano allegedly deposited more than $779,000 in cash into his personal bank account from the illegal sales. 

 

The indictment also alleges that Graziano used a company credit card to charge nearly $1.2 million in personal expenses, including vehicles, cruises, jewelry, silver bars, sports memorabilia, and plane tickets. The purchases included a 2011 Audi and electric guitars signed by the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Michael Jackson.

Last year, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy revoked Graziano’s license and the pharmacy’s permit to sell narcotic painkillers.

"As the pharmacist in charge and the person primarily responsible for ordering the hydrocodone, Mark Graziano must have known the enormous numbers of hydrocodone tablets that Bauder Pharmacy was ordering from wholesalers," the board wrote in its revocation ruling.

“Mr. Graziano ordered hydrocodone from 14 different wholesalers and frequently ordered hydrocodone from multiple different wholesalers in a single day. It is obvious to the board that this was a strategy employed by Mark Graziano to try to conceal the large numbers of hydrocodone that he was ordering."

Bauder Pharmacy is known throughout the region and state. It has been run by the Graziano family for decades, and became famous for its old-fashioned soda fountain and homemade ice cream sold at the Iowa State Fair.

 

It is run by Graziano and his sister, Kim Robertson, whom authorities do not believe had anything to do with the illegal narcotic sales.

According to the pharmacy’s website, Charles Graziano became a partner in the business in 1947. He later purchased it from Carolyn Bauder, believed to be Iowa's first female pharmacist.