Two Colorado nurses sentenced to prison for stealing opioids

Posted at 1:49 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 15:49:15-04

Two Colorado nurses that stole opioids from hospitals they worked at have been sentenced to prison this week. 

According to court documents, 43-year old Lisa Marie Jones was a nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver, and free-standing UCHealth emergency room in 2016, when she stole morphine, fentanyl, and hydromorphone for personal use. Jones stole "waste medication" left after giving the substances to patients.

Court documents said she tampered with two vials of fentanyl in the emergency room, taking all the fentanyl from it and replacing it with saline. After using skin glue to re-seal the vials she placed them back in rotation for future use on patients, but they were discovered before ever being used, according to a release.

Jones was sentenced to 14 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, she pleaded guilty to one count of theft of a controlled substance by deception and one count of tampering with a consumer product, according to a release.

28-year old Marlene Gilmore was a nurse at North Colorado Medical Center in 2016 when she stole morphine, fentanyl, and hydromorphone from a locked medication management system, court documents said. She pleaded guilty to one count of theft of a controlled substance by deception and was sentenced to four months in prison with one year supervised release.

According a release, evidence showed that Gilmore used drugs while on the job.

"These nurses put their patients at risk so they could get high.  For that they will go to prison," said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.  "Patients place enormous trust in their health care providers.  Caregivers who betray that trust will pay with their own freedom."

Both cases were investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of the Inspector General.