40,000-plus pills stolen from Carteret County pharmacy, deputies say

Employee arrested, more arrests / charges possible

POSTED: 12:30 PM Dec 24 2013   UPDATED: 4:00 PM Oct 23 2013
Christine Parker
MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY -

A woman has been charged for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of pills from a Carteret County pharmacy where she worked.

Deputies arrested 39-year-old Christine Busuttil Parker, of Cedar Key Way in Newport, on Monday.

According to the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, Parker was working as a pharmacist at Morehead City Drug Co. on Arendell Street. But an audit done on the suspect's records over the past year-and-a-half revealed that more than 40,000 pills were missing from the pharmacy, said detectives.

Parker has been charged with embezzlement of a controlled substance by an employee. She was able to post her $2,500 bond and was released from the Carteret County Jail.

Parker had been working at the pharmacy for the past four years, investigators said. Her pharmaceutical license has been suspended and seized by the N.C. Board of Pharmacy.

Neighbors said Parker moved out of her Newport home at the beginning of the month. Kathy Mitsock, who used to live near Parker, said she was surprised to hear about the allegations.

"I am very shocked if it's true. I really am. She was always a very friendly woman and seemed like a nice person too," Mitsock said.

Parker's arrest was a result of a 4-month investigation, said deputies. Additional charges and more arrests are possible.

The Morehead City Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation and the N.C. Board of Pharmacy assisted the Carteret County Sheriff's Office with the case.