Wed. Dec 11th, 2019

Man charged with possession of controlled substance, court rejects guilty plea

Late last month, the court rejected the guilty plea of a man appearing pro se charged with possession of controlled substance, theft and asked him to consult an attorney before proceeding any further. The court also released him on his own recognizance with status conference set for September 18.

Morgan Salvador who worked at Belau National Hospital Pharmacy has been accused stealing Methylphenidate (commonly known as Ritalin), a central nervous system stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oxycodone, an opioid pain medication for his own personal use.

World Health Organization factsheet about opioid suggests that Opioids are psychoactive substances derived from the opium poppy, or their synthetic analogues.

Opioid meds are hence given only on prescription and are in a list of controlled substances as opioid are considered addictive.

The case came to attention of the authorities after the Bureau of Public Safety Director received a call from the hospital authorities in the month of April.

Dr. Ngiraisu Mekoll, Director of Health and Clinical Services, called Director Aloysius Alonz to report a large quantity of missing narcotic drugs at the Belau National Hospital Pharmacy.

The Criminal Investigation Agency (CID) was assigned to the case. According to statements given under

In the affidavit by John Gabriel who serves as Detective Sergeant with the CID, the Chief Pharmacist Clarette Matlab told the authorities Salvador confessed to her on taking drugs for his own use.

CID officials claimed that Matlab submitted her written statement that during a routine inventory and audit of the controlled drugs conducted on or about April 12, 2019 , a discrepancy was noted in that a certain employee, identified as Morgan Salvador, a Pharmacy Tech II with the authority and privilege to issue narcotics and other controlled drugs, had been issuing Methylphenidate without it being requested.

Further investigation by the authorities revealed that this has been going on for at least three years. When Matlab confronted Salvador on April 17, Salvador told her that he took drugs for his own use.

Another audit on April 18th revealed that Oxycodone was also missing and had been taken by a similar process to the one used to take the Methylphenidate and that this had also been going on for three years as well.

Matlab then contacted the officials to inform that based on another inventory and audit, Salvador took 60 Oxycodone pills.

The CID officials claim that Salvador visited their office where he was advised of his constitutional rights and was given an Advice of Rights form which he signed further providing a written statement admitting to taking the Methylphenidate and the Oxycodone. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)