Five years for doctor in OxyContin case
Dr. Barry Odegaard was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra to five years in prison and fined $12,500 for illegally distributing and dispensing OxyContin, a prescription drug.
The 56-year-old Odegaard was convicted in June 2008 following a six-day jury trial. According to evidence presented at trial, Odegaard dispensed 43,200 milligrams of OxyContin, a controlled substance, spread out over five purchases to a Drug Enforcement Administration informant between August and December 2004.
The undercover investigation was initiated on information provided by the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the state Department of Public Safety and the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office. Evidence at trial showed that Odegaard received $100 to $200 from the undercover agent for the prescriptions for OxyContin.
OxyContin is a prescription painkiller used for moderate to high pain relief for injuries, bursitis, dislocations, fractures and pain associated with cancer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
MILILANI TOWN OFFRAMP CLOSED
The H-2 Freeway north-bound offramp into Mililani town (Exit 5B) will be closed from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. tomorrow through Tuesday.
The closure will allow the Department of Transportation to conduct pavement resurfacing.
North-bound motorists wishing to enter Mililani town should use the previous Mililani Mauka off-ramp (Exit 5A), turn around using 'Ainamakua Drive, and then proceed west on Mehe'ula Parkway to Mililani town.
Motorists are advised to use caution while driving through the work areas and to allow for extra travel time. Roadwork is weather-permitting.
MAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY OF STORE
A Kona man was being held on $9,000 bail yesterday after being charged with first-degree robbery, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, police said.
Gregory Bennett was arrested following an incident at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday at a convenience store and gas station on Kuakini Highway, police said. A man entered the station wearing a mask and holding a knife, demanded money from the cashier and then fled in a truck with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Two hours later, police took Bennett into custody at another gas station, on Lako Street. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued investigating. Police obtained a search warrant for Bennett's truck and said officers recovered 4.9 grams of a crystal substance. Bennett made his appearance in court yesterday.
TEXT-MESSAGING TEST SET AT UH
The University of Hawai'i will test its emergency text message alert system at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday.
The test will involve all 10 UH campuses and include all faculty, staff and students who have registered to receive the alerts. The first test was in February after the launch of the system.
About 4,000 students and about 3,700 faculty/staff have signed up for the alert, designed to provide another form of communication during emergencies. The system is only used in case of an immediate threat to safety on campus and is tested once a semester to ensure that the system is functioning properly, UH officials said.
PRUDENCIO NAMED OFFICER OF YEAR
Big Island police officer Brian Prudencio was named Officer of the Year by the Hawai'i State Law Enforcement Officials Association recently.
He was cited for his work as a vice officer in the Ice Task Force, which is part of the Hawai'i Police Department's Area I Vice Section. He initiated twice the number of cases than the average officer, with 362 cases last year, and arrested 73 suspects on 308 charges.