Pharmacy manager arrested

Faces charges of drug fraud, theft, possession
Mar. 22, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

Police arrested a local pharmacist Wednesday after she was allegedly caught trying to steal around 200 pills from work.

Mickie Dawn Ratliff, 51, of 630 Topside Drive in Sevierville, manager of the Food City pharmacy, faces charges of drug fraud, theft and possession of schedule II schedule IV controlled substances.

Her arrest warrants indicate the thefts were caught on video, and that she admitted to the crimes and to struggling with addiction.

“We were called to the Food City on Dolly Parton Parkway (Wednesday) at just before 10 p.m., and their security personnel informed our police officer that over the past several months they have had several thousand hydrocodone pills missing from the pharmacy,” police spokesman Bob Stahlke said. “During their investigation they determined a pharmacist has been taking hydro pills.”

They eventually determined that it was Ratliff, the pharmacy manager, who had been taking pills, and found that she had some on her person when they questioned her.

“When our officer made contact with her during the course of his investigation he discovered ... approximately 100 pills in her purse,” Stahlke said.

Her arrest warrants indicate that she was caught on security footage taking some pills, and that she acknowledged stealing the medication when confronted. “Defendant admitted to having a pill problem,” wrote Officer Shawn Crawford.

She is accused of stealing hydrocodone, a painkiller; and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug also known as Xanax. The drug-fraud charge stems from her allegedly reprinting a prescription label so she could use it to get drugs.

Food City CEO Steve Smith said Thursday from his Abingdon, Va. office that Ratliff is no longer employed at the store.

She was being held at the Sevier County Jail; as of Thursday afternoon, a magistrate had not yet set her bond.

Ratliff is the wife of Dr. David Ratliff, owner of Mountain Home Veterinary Hospital.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com