Former dental assistant and narcotic scammer sentenced, apologizes

A Juneau dental assistant who falsified narcotic prescriptions for her addicted boyfriend has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Donya Owens, 29, was originally indicted on twenty-two counts of felony misconduct involving a controlled substance. As part of a plea and sentence agreement with prosecutors, Owens changed her plea on three of the charges. Her composite sentence includes four-years in prison with three-years suspended.

Robert Biddinger, 44, was also indicted on twenty-two counts. He was picked up by Unalaska Police in January. Owens was arrested by troopers at the Ketchikan ferry terminal in February.

Owens would call in prescriptions on behalf of a dentist and say that Biddinger would pick them up. Prosecutors say the Foodland A & P pharmacist, who also works at Juneau Drug, got suspicious with the prescriptions placed by cell phone. Biddinger picked up twenty vicodin at Safeway last August and another twenty at Foodland in September. According to prosecutors, both Owens and Biddinger said they knew they “messed up” or “screwed up”. The pills were for personal use only, not resale. Biddinger apparently suffered from a pair of painful shoulder injuries.

Owens’ attorney Kirsten Swanson says her client is genuinely remorseful, has lost her job and a position of trust. Owens could even lose her two children in a custody fight that arose out of her arrest.

For her part, Owens said “my apologies to everyone involved. My children are suffering the most. I’m really sorry.”

Sentencing for Biddinger, who also changed his plea on two of the charges, has been delayed until at least next week.

It’s unclear which dental practice Owens worked at. Among the witnesses who appeared before a Juneau grand jury was an Anchorage dentist who specializes in endodontics. At least four pharmacists who work at separate grocery stores in Juneau also testified.