A Denton pharmacist and her professor husband were among six people arrested this week during an ongoing two-year investigation by Denton police into Megs Discount Pharmacy on Sunset Street.
Susan Jenevive Megwa, 50, of Southlake has been charged with three counts of diversion of controlled substances and one count of laundering over $200,000 at the pharmacy she owns and operates.
Her husband, Eronini Megwa, 59, an associate professor of communications at the University of Texas at Arlington, was taken into custody Tuesday at UTA and charged with laundering over $200,000, investigators said.
Investigators said the pharmacy was believed to be a hub for drugs for many residents of Dallas and Fort Worth, including doctors from south of Dallas.
Denton police indicated that they had received previous reports about the ease with which medications could be obtained from Megs Pharmacy and that some people were traveling from as far away as Houston to get their prescriptions filled in Denton.
“She ordered as much or more [drugs] than a 24-hour pharmacy, and she is Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Rachel Fleming, Denton police investigator, said Wednesday. “She was selling/filling drugs to people that weren’t even people, using fake names.”
According to a sworn statement from police, Susan Megwa also filled prescriptions for herself from a dentist in Pilot Point who no longer held a license to practice and did not have a valid federal registration for prescribing drugs.
Susan Megwa has been licensed with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy since 2009 and her business has been registered since January 2010, records show. She is the only pharmacist registered to the pharmacy.
Kerstin Arnold, general counsel with the pharmacy board, said she could not comment on a case still under investigation, but she said that, generally, if Susan Megwa is convicted she could have her pharmacist license revoked by the board. A temporary suspension of a license can be issued with a 10-day notice, or without a notice as long as a hearing is conducted within 14 days on the pending allegations.
Eronini Megwa was a partner with the pharmacy and received employee benefits, Fleming said. Arrest records show he received $875 every two weeks via Paychex from Meg’s Discount Pharmacy LLC.
As of Thursday evening, Eronini Megwa was still employed by UTA and has been since 2008, school officials said.
Kristin Sullivan, assistant vice president for media relations at UTA, said employees are required to report pending criminal complaints, excluding misdemeanors, to their department heads within five business days. Such a report would trigger an internal investigation into the allegation, she said.
During a search of the couple’s Southlake home, investigators were able to obtain a journal of cash transactions from 2012 linked to Megs, police records show. The journal indicated that thousands of dollars in cash was brought in and entered weekly and spent on shopping, gifts, hair or money transfers to Nigeria. It also noted that $161,000 was moved into a safe, records show.
Between November 2011 and December 2012, $223,000 was transferred to Nigeria from a Meg’s Discount Pharmacy account hosted at JPMorgan Chase, records show.
Four other people were arrested near the pharmacy Tuesday and questioned about pills they had in their possession, according to Denton Sgt. Bobby Ray. Further details about those arrests were not available, police said.
Susan Megwa’s bail is set at $130,000 for all four charges and Eronini Megwa’s bail is set at $100,000, according to Officer Ryan Grelle, spokesman for Denton police.
Money laundering over $200,000 is a first-degree felony. Diversion of a controlled substance by a registrant, dispenser and certain other persons is a state jail felony.
The investigation is continuing, police said. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy and the Drug Enforcement Administration have joined the investigation, officials said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGraynews.