Illusion Montanez

METHUEN — A 27-year-old pharmacy technician at the CVS/pharmacy at 233 Broadway was arrested on the job Wednesday afternoon and charged with stealing more than $7,000 worth of narcotics from the store.

According to records filed in court, Illusion Montanez, of Danbury Drive, told police she stole 1,857 Suboxone and hydrocodone pills about 15 or 16 times since November and sold them to her friends, people she didn't know in her apartment complex, and friends at nightclubs in Lawrence and at a restaurant in North Andover.

According to police, she told them she only took the hydrocodone and Suboxone tablets because it was easy for her to quickly convert them to cash, and she sold them for $1 a pill, regardless of the strength of the tablet. She told police she was struggling to pay her bills and provide for her child.

She was found out when CVS officials set up a video camera last weekend in the pharmacy after becoming aware of a shortage of the pills.

According to court records, CVS officials believed an employee might be taking the pills.

The surveillance video showed Montanez as she walked over to the counter where the Suboxone was stored, grabbed three full bottles of the drug and then leaned forward toward the floor as if she were putting the bottles in her socks.

When she showed up for work on Wednesday afternoon, store officials showed her the video and she admitted taking the pills without payment, prescription or permission, according to court records.

An audit of the pharmacy was conducted and it revealed 1,857 pills, with a value of $7,763, were missing.

Detective Arthur Hardy and Officer Kevin Dzioba arrested Montanez and charged her with conspiracy to violate drug laws, two counts of larceny of a drug, possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute, possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute near a school or park, possession of Suboxone with intent to distribute, and possession of Suboxone with intent to distribute near a school or park.

During her arraignment yesterday in Lawrence District Court, Judge Kevin Gaffney ordered Montanez to stay away from the CVS and warned her if she got into further trouble while her case was pending she could be held without bail for 60 days.

Police also have filed a report of abuse or neglect with the Department of Children and Families, according to court records.

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