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Sacred Heart pharmacy tech pleads guilty in pill theft

Paul Martsin, 25, admits stealing prescription painkillers

A Sacred Heart Medical Center pharmacy technician linked to more than a quarter million missing prescription painkillers dating back several years pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to theft, money laundering and dealing controlled substances.

Paul Martsin, 25, agreed to a deal that will send him to prison for five years and require him to pay close to $11,700 to the hospital, where surveillance cameras caught him removing bottles of the painkillers hydrocodone and codeine cough syrup between May and July 2013. A subsequent search of Martsin’s apartment turned up thousands of pills, bottles of cough syrup and cash.

Martsin appeared in street clothes in a Spokane County courtroom Wednesday morning, pleading guilty to theft, possession of the two types of drugs with intent to deliver and three counts of money laundering. Detectives tracked bank accounts belonging to Martsin and think he used proceeds from the sale of the prescription medications to pay off gambling debts that exceeded $10,000.

As part of the plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not be filing additional charges against Martsin, prosecuting attorney John Grasso said in court Wednesday.

Spokane Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins will decide next month whether to accept the plea agreement. Martsin has no prior criminal convictions.

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