South Sound News

Tacoma pharmacist traded stolen pills for prostitutes, cash and other drugs, state finds

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma pharmacist traded pilfered pills for prostitutes, the state Department of Health found before suspending his credential this week.

David Pruett diverted up to 8,000 oxycodone pills in 2017 from the pharmacy at which he worked, then told Lakewood police in December that he traded some of them for cash, other drugs or prostitutes, a department investigation found. His credential was suspended Tuesday.

The pharmacy is missing 8,000 oxycodone tablets, and Pruett told police he had taken at least 2,000 of the pills from the pharmacy.

Pruett told the Department of Health in a written statement that he had ordered and taken from the pharmacy various drugs, including oxycodone, and admitted that he gave some of the ill-gotten pills to another person.

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A drug test in January showed Pruett had oxycodone, marijuana and tranquilizers in his system.

The criminal case against Pruett has been referred to Pierce County prosecutors for possible charges, Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler said Thursday afternoon.

Pruett has been licensed as a pharmacist in Washington since August 2000.