Man Arrested in Tampered Medicine Case

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GARDNER, Kan. -- An Overland Park man faces charges in connection to a tampered medicine case that sent a Gardner, Kansas, woman to the hospital.

David Hess, 60, is currently facing misdemeanor theft by deception charges, but authorities say that those could become felony charges depending on the results of lab tests.

Hess is accused of tampering with a 12-pack of cold medicine capsules that were purchased by Ron Erhard at a Gardner Walmart. Erhard's wife took what she thought were pills, and later went to a hospital.

Police Investigate Possible Drug Tampering Case

Erhard told FOX 4 News two weeks ago that he believed that the pills were replaced with dog food.

"There were no cuts on the back of the package," said Erhard. "I noticed that there's actually cuts on the front of the package, and you can actually peel the plastic back up, and that's how they were slid into the package."

Investigators say that surveillance cameras at the Walmart caught Hess on tape returning the tampered package of capsules to the Gardner store.

"It was through the surveillance video that was put out to other detectives in the area," that led to the arrest, said Sgt. Lee Krout of the Gardner Police Department.

Krout says that last Friday, he served Hess with a notice to appear in court. During the meeting, Krout says that Hess admitted removing the blue-green capsules from the packaging.

"He did not have a good excuse for it," said Krout. "He just said it was a stupid mistake."

"(Hess) just wanted to return the product and get some money back for it," said Krout, who says that he thinks Hess felt bad about what he did.

Technicians at the Johnson County Crime Lab tested the tampered medicine. Police say that if it turns out to be something poisonous, then the charge will likely be upgraded to felony charges.

On May 2nd, results from the Johnson County Crime Lab confirmed it was pet food. Hess is scheduled to make his first court appearance May 9th.

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