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ALBUQUERQUE — The DEA has arrested a pharmacy technician on a federal theft of medical products charge arising from the theft of more than 20,000 prescription opioid tablets from the pharmacy that previously employed the tech.

Amber Otero, 30, of Carlsbad, was arrested Friday morning. According to the criminal complaint, the DEA initiated the investigation leading to Otero’s arrest in August after receiving a report of a loss of controlled substances from a Carlsbad pharmacy. The pharmacy’s report alleged 20,344 oxycodone tablets of various strengths had been stolen from the pharmacy. Otero, who had been employed as a pharmacy technician by the pharmacy, was identifi ed as the suspected thief.

Otero is scheduled for an initial appearance in federal court in Roswell on Sept. 27.

If convicted on the charge in the criminal complaint, Otero faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.