Local pharmacist indicted on multiple charges

You trust them with your most important prescriptions, but how well do you know your pharmacist?

Former pharmacist Kristi Schulmeister, owner of Tri-C Pharmacy in Carterville, IL, was indicted after investigators say they discovered she had been operating without a license since 2011.

Schulmeister now faces eight felony charges, including seven counts of unlawfully obtaining a controlled substance, one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and four misdemeanor counts of practicing pharmacy without a license.

According to Illinois Pharmacist Association President Eric Bandy, maintaining the proper license to practice is the first line in protecting patients.

"Patient safety is by far our number one concern every day,” said Bandy. “We’re the last line of defense before the patient actually puts that medication in their mouth, or in their lungs, or whichever way they were taking that."

Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti says Schulmeister blatantly ignored her responsibility.

"Anyone who acts as a pharmacist without a license is breaking the law," said Zanotti.

Zanotti says the worst part about the indictment isn’t that Schulmeister was operating Tri-C Pharmacy just down the street from the Carterville Police Department, but she was doing it just four doors away from a downtown Carterville daycare.

"Law enforcement was in her office, shutting down her office, and she still continued to do it,” said Zanotti. “It’s not just frustrating, though. It’s dangerous."

Over the course of four years, Zanotti says Schulmeister illegally dealt with hundreds of patients, including one who testified to the grand jury.

"Somebody’s health was on the line, and we knew it,” said Zanotti. “I’m sure there are many more, and I’m sure there are probably people out there who never even knew this was going on."

Tri-C Pharmacy is shut down permanently.

Schulmeister was arraigned Friday in Williamson County, and was given a $100,000 bond.

Her next court date is Dec. 21.

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