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Article updated: 11/6/2013 2:42 PM

Couple charged in medication thefts from area pharmacies

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A Chicago man whose criminal history includes a 1993 murder conviction is one of two people charged with stealing $3,600 worth of medication from pharmacies in Arlington Heights and South Barrington.

James Harris, 42, of the 7400 block of South Evans Street, was ordered held on $75,000 Wednesday by Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie. Marisie set bond at $40,000 for his co-defendant, Sharonda Booth, 47, of the 9600 block of South Forest Avenue in Chicago.

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Harris and Booth are accused of stealing over-the-counter medications from various Walgreens and CVS stores since September for the purpose of reselling them, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Maureen McGee.

They are charged with continuing a financial crimes enterprise, a class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison. However, the defendants' criminal histories could make them eligible for extended terms if they are found guilty, McGee said.

Harris was sentenced in 1993 to 25 years in prison for murder, McGee said. Currently on parol with six months left to serve, Harris was sentenced in 2007 to six years in prison for possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, he was sentenced in 2008 to five years in prison for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, McGee said.

Booth's criminal background includes convictions for retail theft and drug possession dating back to 1994, for which she was sentenced to between one and two years in prison, McGee said. Her most recent conviction for retail theft occurred in 2011.

The defendants next appear in court Dec. 3.

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