A former hospital pharmacy technician pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges involving stolen tablets of hydroxychloroquine — an anti-malaria drug that has been touted by President Donald Trump as a potential treatment for coronavirus.
Christopher Mencias Agustin, 35, of Torrance, was immediately sentenced to 240 hours of community service, three years probation and four days in jail in connection with his plea to one felony count each of receiving stolen property exceeding $950 and sale/offer to sell or transport a controlled substance, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Agustin — who had worked at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center — was also barred from working at a pharmacy during the three-year probationary period, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He was initially charged in April with two felony counts of burglary during an emergency and one felony count of concealing or withholding stolen property exceeding $950.
More than 700 tablets of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — valued at about $6,700 — were taken in March, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In a study released last week, the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine for patients with COVID-19.