A plea has been entered by a Howell-area pharmacy technician charged with stealing more than 30,000 prescription pills from a local hospital.

35-year-old Kelly Leanne Hodge pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling between $50,000-$100,000 in Livingston County Circuit Court Friday. Hodge is said to have stolen approximately $107,000 worth of prescription medications from St. Joseph Mercy Brighton hospital over the course of about a year and a half. She has agreed to pay the hospital $107,698.30 in restitution and is no longer employed there.

Authorities say hospital officials noticed the theft after conducting an inventory which indicated approximately 12,000 pills had been taken over a five-month period. The hospital then contacted the Sheriff’s Office and a follow-up audit found nearly 32,000 doses had gone missing during an 18-month period that began in November of 2015. According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Hodge's pharmacy technician license was issued in October of 2015, just a month before the theft reportedly began.

Hodge is set to be sentenced November 30th. (DK)