Postal worker arrested for stealing prescription drugs

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Sandra Chapman/13 Investigates

Indianapolis - Police are investigating a postal worker accused of stealing prescription medicine meant for patients. They say he headed off drugs from people who need them.

Jeffrey Yardley, 48, is accused of stealing 17 mail order prescriptions sent from the Department of Veterans Affairs as he sorted mail. Yardley now faces seven felony counts including dealing a controlled substance, theft and official misconduct.

"Once the Inspector General knows there is something amiss, something missing, items not making it especially these types of items, they can observe without being seen and that's exactly what happened. He was caught," said Kim Yates, US Post Office.

No one came to the door at Yardley's Noblesville home early Monday. As a mail carrier made rounds, neighbors learned the mail clerk who lived just doors away allegedly violated an important trust.

"I would have never thought of anything like that," said Emma Jean Ledford, who told us she's received her prescriptions through the mail for the past 15 years.

But neighbor Kay Cuppy wasn't all that shocked. "Not in this day and age. Nothing surprises me," she said.

The case against Yardley is also connected to a stop last year in Noblesville. Amanda Huffines (formerly Stoots), 33, was arrested after police found a baggie of Hydrocodone pills underneath her seat. She denied owning the pills.

The investigation into the alleged theft of prescription drugs came to the Bacon Station Post Office branch just a couple of weeks ago, after police received information they couldn't ignore.

There were complaints from patients about missing or stolen parcels of pain pills. The Inspector General secretly watched Yardley cut open two packages and remove the contents.

That same day, Yardley's wife reportedly told investigators her husband confessed to putting the drugs in Amanda Huffines' car and stealing pain killers. She reportedly told police she "wanted to do the right thing," and was afraid of physical harm.

Neighbor Kay Cuppy says that explains a troubling scene last week.

"The two squad cars were on the street over here and the other one was north. She loaded up the UHaul and drove off ," said Cuppy.

Investigators say most of the missing parcels contained painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycodone. They also determined that Yardley gave the pain pills to an outside associate who sold them and returned the profits.

There is no word yet on whether charges will be dropped against Amanda Stoots, who believes the drugs found in her car were also stolen from the Post Office.

Yardley faces two counts of Dealing in a Controlled Substance (B Felony), 3 counts of Theft (D Felony), 1 count Possession of a Controlled Substance (D Felony), and 1 count of Official Misconduct (D Felony).