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Virginia school aide sentenced for stealing students’ pills

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The medication produced dramatic weight loss in clinical trials. Qsymia's manufacturer, Vivus Inc., says that the drug helped lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in obese people and that people taking it were less likely to get Type 2 (Facebook.com)

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – A Virginia elementary school clinic aide convicted of stealing students' prescription medications and replacing them with other drugs was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.

Caitlin Poytress, 39, was working for a Chesterfield elementary school in May 2019 when the school's registered nurse began to suspect she was tampering with student medications, according to a summary of evidence by a Chesterfield Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.

The nurse noticed pill bottles were out when they shouldn't have been, medications were missing from their normal locations and pill count logs showed unexplained changes and revisions, prosecutors alleged.

Later that month, a parent reported to police that her child's Adderall pills were missing and had been replaced with Benadryl. A school investigation found that an Adderall prescription for another student had been replaced with a sedative, and a prescription for a third child had been replaced with Aleve, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Poytress later admitted to investigators that she had been battling an "opium problem" for five years.

Poytress was convicted of felony child neglect, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, petty larceny and possession of a controlled substance. A Chesterfield Circuit Judge sentenced her to 18 years in prison with 13 suspended.