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Theft Of Pharmaceutical Waste For Meth From Sanofi Site Leads to 15-Year Sentence

Theft Of Pharmaceutical Waste For Meth Leads to 15-Year Sentence [The Kansas City Star, Mo.]

From Kansas City Star (MO) (December 3, 2010)

Dec. 03--An Oak Grove man diverted half a ton of pharmaceutical waste from a Kansas City drug manufacturer, enough to make more than $41 million worth of methamphetamine, authorities said Thursday.

The thefts, which occurred over 10 years, led Thursday to a 15-year prison sentence in federal court in Kansas City for Garland Duane Hankins, 43. He worked for an environmental service company that contracted with the manufacturer to dispose of the pharmaceutical grade pseudoephedrine powder.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in methamphetamine.

Hankins and others admitted that they sold the powder for up to $10,000 per pound. Hankins pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to manufacture and distribute meth.

The diversions came to light during a federal probe of the armed robbery and theft of a 110-pound drum of pseudoephedrine powder at pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis in Kansas City in 2007.

Prosecutors charged James Robert Everson of Kansas City, Kan., in that robbery. Everson has pleaded guilty, but he has not been sentenced.

The waste powder that Hankins took was unsuitable for pharmaceutical production but would have worked fine for meth production, officials said. Hankins worked for the environmental service company for 12 years and was the primary contractor responsible for taking the waste powder from the manufacturing plant.

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Posted: December 2010