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When Ryan Epperson entered Erlanger Medical System's east campus on Saturday he knew where to find the medication he wanted. He also knew how to sneak into the hospital's downtown campus on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old had snuck into both campuses multiple times before and walked out with pocketfuls of potent narcotics. He was arrested in May and charged with stealing medication from three local hospitals, and released in June on a bond of $93,000.

On Wednesday, Epperson was arrested again after police said he sneaked back into Erlanger's Third Street and Gunbarrel Road facilities. He now faces upwards of 30 new charges including burglary, vandalism, theft and aggravated trespassing.

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Age at Arrest: 26 Date of Birth: 10/25/1988 Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Last Date of Arrest: 05/28/2015 Charge(s): THEFT OF PROPERTY VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE DRUGS GENERAL CATEGORY FOR RESALE IMPERSONATION OF LICENSED PROFESSIONAL THEFT OF PROPERTY VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CRIMINAL TRESPASSING

According to the arrest affidavit, in each incident he broke into computerized drug dispensaries called Pyxis MedStation machines to steal medication.

"[Epperson's] continued thefts without regard to being caught, as proven by providing his name when confronted breaking into a machine this past weekend, shows this offense is going to continue as long as he is not locked in jail," Epperson's most recent arrest affidavit states.

No bond had been set as of late Wednesday evening.

Epperson admitted to police in May that he stole medications to feed an addiction. His attorney, Bill Speek, previously said in court that his client is "battling addiction."

On Wednesday, Speek said he had just recently learned of the new arrest and was working to investigate what happened.

Erlanger spokeswoman Pat Charles said Epperson unsuccessfully tried to obtain drugs from the east campus over the weekend and was identified and reported to law enforcement.

"Surveillance efforts led to the suspect being identified and reported again after he stole medications on Erlanger's main campus, leading to the latest charges of drug theft," Charles said.

Unlike during the previous break-ins this spring, Epperson was not wearing hospital scrubs in either of these attempts, Charles said. But she did not clarify how Epperson was able to sneak into restricted areas of the hospital.

Officials with Parkridge Hospital and CHI Memorial Hospital said that no drugs have been reported missing from any of their campuses.

Police were not able to confirm how much medication was recovered in the most recent arrest, but in May detectives said they found a "large quantity of narcotics" including Demerol, fentanyl and morphine in Epperson's car and at his home.

Epperson was a corrections officer with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office before his May arrest, and ran unsuccessfully for county office last year.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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