Local News

Nursing Home Employees Face Drug Charges

Posted November 8, 2007

— Five nursing home employees, including the center's director and three other supervisors, face drug charges, and several counts involve diverting prescription drugs from the facility, police said.

Carthage police received a tip on Oct. 26 that drugs were being diverted from Tara Plantation, a 74-bed, assisted-living center that specializes in caring for Alzheimer's patients. A pharmacy had recalled medication from the center and found that medications ranging from Percocet to sodium bicarbonate had been replaced with other substances, police said.

After conducting interviews with the administrator, several employees and patients, five people were charged with various drug offenses, police said.

Tara Plantation administrator Kathleen Ann McElroy, 51, of Cameron, was charged with four counts of conspiracy to sell or deliver Schedule II controlled substances and three counts of possession of marijuana.

Medical coordinator Eva Lorraine Brewer, 44, of Asheboro, was charged with four counts of felony possession of marijuana, two counts of obtaining controlled substances by forgery or fraud and one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Business manager Denise Lynn Barron, 44, of Carthage, was charged with four counts each of selling or delivering Schedule II controlled substances and possession of Schedule II controlled substances.

Kitchen supervisor Rich Howard McElroy, 54, of Cameron, was charged with four counts each of selling or delivering Schedule II controlled substances and possession of Schedule II controlled substances, three counts of possession of marijuana and one count of selling or delivering Schedule IV controlled substances.

Medical technician Latanya Winette Verbal, 37, of Carthage, was charged with selling or delivering marijuana and possession of marijuana. She also was charged with unrelated warrants for worthless checks.


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  • Concerned Nov 9, 2007

    That facility was a regular House of Horrors! Shame on all of them. Lock them up and throw away the key.

  • BUCKEYEnNC Nov 9, 2007

    This is what scares people to death about growing old! Survive WWII? Great! Survive the Korean War? Great!

    Your reward? Getting ripped off of your medicines and benefits at a nursing home!

    How could you do this to someone's grandparents. They obviously have no conscience!

    Don't throw the book at them. Throw the BOOKCASE at them!!!!

  • floridagatoreater Nov 9, 2007

    Having worked for a Company that owns Assisted Living Homes throughout NC and SC - not every owner just thinks about money - some of them actually do care for their residents. I can assure you that those employees will never work in another assisted or nursing home in NC or SC again. Their names will go on the State Health Care Registry as no hires. The owners will probably (if they weren't involved) be heavily fined and be issued temporary license until all matters are cleared up and the State issues them a clean bill. Temporary license mean that they can't take in any more residents. If they were involved they will probably lose their license and the residents will be transferred to other facilities. The State monitors Assisted Living and Nursing Home closer than you think. There are numbers posted online thru Division of Facility Services for those families that think their family member is being abused. Don't think twice about reporting them - something will be done!

  • mindyourown Nov 8, 2007

    Makes you wonder if all of them got caught or just some of them. Good, now they'll jobless and with criminal records! Just not bright are they?!

  • Vietnam Vet Nov 8, 2007

    This is just another reason why I've always said that my wife and I will NEVER go to a nursing home. I'd rather just stay in my home and if I do something wrong and burn it down around my ears, then so be it!! They're staffed generally by minimum wage employees to beef up the "bottom line", with an RN or two around to supervise. Last I heard they were charging $3K plus per month for their substandard care. I can stay in a decent hotel for that kind of money. I can't imagine anyone letting those people suffer without their medications just to make a buck. How about a little poetic justice? Instead of serving their sentence in prison, make them serve it in a nursing home!!!

  • -info- Nov 8, 2007

    another care facility built and ran by nonmedical people who worship the almighty green god of greed.Family members need to go after the corporate owners who allowed this to take place.

  • JustCrazy2 Nov 8, 2007

    It's sad at how the elderly are treated.

  • Granny Nov 8, 2007

    I have worked in a Assisted Living Facility and I have a family member that lives in a group home setting because of a disability and I can tell you the ONLY way to be sure that your loved one is being cared for is to make lots and lots of visit at all different times of the day. Those people at Tara Plantations certainly do not care about anyone but themselves.

  • AKA PikeMom Nov 8, 2007

    I am not surprised at all.I have heard rumors of this going on for quiet a few years.

  • mommy2caroline Nov 8, 2007

    Wow-what teamwork!