3 Plead Guilty in $2 M Scheme to Steal Insulin From the Army

3 Plead Guilty in $2 M Scheme to Steal Insulin From the Army

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WICHITA, KAN. – United States Attorney Eric Melgren announced that three people charged with participating in a scheme to steal insulin from the medical supplies of the U.S. Army have entered guilty pleas. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten in Wichita received guilty pleas Jan. 26, 2005, from John W. Cooper, 29, Elizabethtown, Ky.; Donna Cooper, Elizabethtown, Ky.; and Max H. Thomas, 22, Fort Riley, Kan. John Cooper pleaded guilty to conspiracy to ship stolen merchandise in interstate commerce and to a count seeking forfeiture of cash and real estate obtained as a result of the crime. In their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted that the idea of stealing insulin, insulin test strips and other pharmaceuticals from the pharmacy at the Fort Riley Army base originated with Ronald Ausberry, who was a Specialist Fourth Class employed as a pharmacy technician. Ausberry began stealing the supplies in December 2001. In 2002 he began recruiting other Army pharmacy technicians to help him by stealing supplies from pharmacies on other Army bases. John W. Cooper at Fort Knox, Ky., and Max Thomas at Fort Riley were among those Ausberry recruited to assist him.