Woman arrested in pharmacy drug case

Las Vegas police arrested a 34-year-old woman and seized more than $500,000 worth of prescription drugs from a North Las Vegas pharmacy Wednesday.

The drugs ranged from birth control pills to powerful heart medications to horse tranquilizers often used by body builders. Sandra Guiterrez, who is not a licensed pharmacist, was charged with three counts of furnishing dangerous drugs without a prescription after the raid of El Arcoiris pharmacy, where she worked.

Authorities searched the business at 3416 E. Lake Mead Blvd., near Pecos Road, on reports that prescription drugs were being sold there.

Of the hundreds of boxes and bottles seized by officers in the two-hour raid Wednesday afternoon, only a handful were over-the-counter medications. Police spread the evidence across five tables at their offices today.

Most of the drugs were purchased by Guiterrez in Mexico and being sold for above market value at the small pharmacy, said Lt. George Castro of the department’s Violent Crimes Unit.

The total street value for the haul is more than $500,000, he said.

Guiterrez’s parents, who were not identified, own the pharmacy.

Police said investigators knew about the operation for about a month but didn’t know how long Guiterrez had been selling the drugs.

Las Vegas police worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, the Nevada State Board of Pharmacists and North Las Vegas police to complete the raid.

Castro said investigators are also looking into allegations that surgical operations were being done in the back room of the pharmacy. He said the alleged surgeries were minor and included lancing boils or removing an infected tooth.

No other arrests were made Wednesday.

As of midday Thursday, Guiterrez was no longer in police custody.

Guiterrez’s criminal history in Las Vegas includes driving under the influence in August 2008, according to police.

Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.