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Bergen County Man Charged with Conspiring to Steal $7.8M Worth of HIV Medication


A Bergen County man was charged for his role in stealing prescription HIV medication from the pharmacy of the East Orange VA Medical Center, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

According to federal officials, Wagner Checonolasco, 33, of Lyndhurst, was charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to steal government property, specifically HIV medication.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2018 through November 2019, Checonolasco conspired with another person to steal prescription HIV medication from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in East Orange.

The conspirator, who was employed as a pharmacy procurement technician at the VAMC pharmacy, placed large orders for HIV medication, purportedly on behalf of VAMC.

After the medication was delivered, the conspirator stole it. Checonolasco and the conspirator met, frequently at the conspirator’s residence, so that Checonolasco could purchase the stolen HIV medication, which he then sold.

Checonolasco and the conspirator conspired to steal $7.85 million worth of HIV medications.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.