A 31-year-old University Wisconsin hospital nurse has been arrested and is expected to face several felony charges for the alleged theft of the narcotic morphine while she was employed on staff at the hospital. The charges stemmed from an internal investigation at the hospital that began after a pharmacy technician discovered that the red tamper-evident caps on the syringes that were inside a secured drug dispensing machine had reportedly been disturbed.
According to police investigators, officials at the hospital notified university police on March 13. This was after the nurse allegedly admitted to the officials that she had been taking morphine and hydromorphone syringes from the dispenser and placing other liquids back into the syringes after taking the drugs for herself. Investigators state that she reportedly told hospital staff that she had been taking the drugs as far back as October 2013.
Although police investigators have reported that they are unsure of exactly how many of the syringes the nurse had allegedly taken for her personal drug use, they believe she acquired at least 42 syringes during that time period. She was arrested on June 13 and is expected to be charged by the Dane County District Attorney's office next week.
Drug crimes that involve stealing narcotics from a place of employment can have devastating consequences for defendants that could include a lengthy jail sentence and damage to reputation. An experienced Wisconsin criminal attorney may be able to help reduce charges or negotiate with prosecutors to work out a plea agreement that would possibly help a defendant enter a drug diversion program rather than face a long sentence in prison.
Source: The Daily Cardinal, "UW Hospital nurse to be charged with drug diversion, reckless endangerment" Dana Kampa, Jun. 13, 2014