Mobile pharmacist arrested for illegal codeine distribution

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Police in Mobile and Prichard join forces to make an arrest in an unusual case.

A pharmacist is charged with three counts of illegally selling codeine, and Mobile Police said his sales were caught on undercover video.


Donald Scarcliff spoke to reporters as he was led in handcuffs from Caffey’s Pharmacy on St. Stephens Road Tuesday morning.

When asked what he was selling, Scarcliff said, “I can’t tell you, sir.”

But, Scarcliff apologized to his customers.

He said, “I’m very sorry that I’m unable to provide this service for you.”


Mobile and Prichard Police said a three week investigation revealed Scarcliff sold codeine illegally.

They also provided undercover video of what they said was Scarcliff making those sales.

Police Chief James Barber talked about what he said Scarcliff said on the tape.

Barber said, “He is telling this guy not to be dealing the codeine in front of his store, to move away from the store before he deals, and you’ll also hear him comment, ‘keep your mouth shut.’ “


Customers who came by the pharmacy Tuesday were surprised to hear about the arrest.

One said of Scarcliff, “He’s sweet as he can be. I don”t understand.”

Another said, “I think it’s a good pharmacy, though.”


While Scarcliff was being escorted to a police car answering reporters questions, his attorney Jeff Deen approached him, and told him he didn’t need to talk to reporters.

But, Scarcliff answered more questions, saying “no” when asked if he was selling narcotics.

He also said it was, in his words, a wrongful accusation that he was selling codeine.

Afterward, Deen spoke to the media.

Deen said, “The police are showing the stuff before he’s even been charged? That’s interesting. Why are you looking at it? Why are they showing it to you? Trying him in the press, rather than waiting to get to court. That’s what I would like to know.”

But for now, police have padlocked Scarcliff’s pharmacy.

Scarcliff is charged with three counts of distribution of a controlled substance.


FOX10 News has also learned that Scarcliff was arrested back in June by airport security in Mobile.

He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

According to online court records, Scarcliff is set to have a bench trial on those charges on October 1.

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