Some Fisher students surprised by arrest of first-year pharmacy student

Posted at: 11/16/2012 2:22 PM
Updated at: 11/16/2012 5:57 PM
By: Ray Levato

Students at St. John Fisher are reacting to the arrest of a pharmacy student there for selling drugs.

The feds arrested 23-year-old Abraham Reinhardt in a Batavia parking lot. They say he was about the sell pain pills, marijuana and mushrooms when he was busted.

Reinhardt is a first year pharmacy student at Fisher and lives in Rochester, but is from the Buffalo area.

The Buffalo Drug Enforcement Agency Office has been investigating Abraham Reinhardt since September based on information that came to them.  According to the criminal complaint, the Fisher student sold the drugs out of an ice cream truck. He's from Clarence near Buffalo and drove the ice cream truck in Cheektowaga and surrounding areas.

Students at Fisher were surprised including one from Reinhardt's hometown.

Emily Donner said, “I'm from Clarence so that's why she called me to see if I knew about it. But I didn't until she told me.”

Jill Alaimo said, “As a pharmacy student, he must have been a smart kid. He could go far with it and I don't think it was a smart decision made. I know everyone makes mistakes but it's his future.”

The U.S. Attorney Office in Buffalo says Abraham Reinhardt was arrested in the parking lot of the Batavia Home Depot as he was about to sell an estimated $2,700 worth of illegal drugs including 80 oxymorphone tablets, a prescription pain medicine; marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Reinhardt lives on Elmwood Avenue. Reinhardt told investigators he was a pharmacy student at St. John Fisher College and was working up to 80  hours a week over the summer for the Mr. Cool Ice Cream Company to pay for his college tuition.

Criminal complaint says: "While purporting to sell frozen dairy treats, intelligence indicated that Reinhardt also sold controlled substances. It was also learned that Reinhardt likely obtained at least some of his controlled substances via an internet site styled SILKROAD.com and that the controlled substances were delivered to him."   

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York William Hochul recently held a prescription drug summit in Rochester where he said the use and abuse of prescription pills is epidemic.  News10NBC spoke with him by phone.
William Hochul, U.S. Attorney, said, “Really explored the depth and extent to which prescription pill abuse has become epidemic in western New York. Here you have an allegation that somebody who was studying to become a pharmacist to handle these prescription pills is now standing accused of illegally selling them. So that's troubling as well.”

St. John Fisher issued a new statement: “We have had numerous inquiries about Reinhardt possible access to drugs on campus. We would like to emphasize that first-year students at the school of pharmacy do not have access to any pharmacy labs or pharmaceuticals on campus. Students in their second, third, and fourth year in the school of pharmacy do complete lab work, but they do not work with any controlled substances on campus. Lab classes are supervised by faculty and the labs are locked when not in use.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Reinhardt is not charged with selling drugs on campus. But the penalty for what he's charged with, possession with intent to distribute, is stiff; twenty years in prison and a one million dollar fine.