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Denver area nurse sentenced to federal prison for stealing fentanyl

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Nov 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-17 17:28:11-05

DENVER — Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced the sentencing for a Denver-area nurse convicted to stealing drugs meant for Intensive Care Unit patients.

According to the DOJ, 36-year-old nurse, Jessica Sharman was sentenced to 44 months for stealing fentanyl meant for ICU patients at Parker Adventist Hospital.

In a release, the DOJ said Sharman began working in the ICU at Parker Adventist Hospital in January of 2018. Soon after she began working there, she used an automated narcotic medicine dispensing machine to gain access to the fentanyl. As a nurse, she was allowed to use the machine.

An audit report of the dispensing machine for several different months in 2018 flagged Sharman's access as high use for fentanyl, the DOJ said.

Later in 2018, Parker Adventis employees interviewed Sharman. Base in part on that interview, it was determined she was stealing fentanyl from the hospital. Following that interview, she tested positive for fentanyl and she was terminated as an employee of the hospital.

“Medical professionals who have access to opioids like fentanyl are required to make sure that this powerful medication is provided to patients and is not abused,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “In this case a nurse at a hospital stole fentanyl for her own use. And perhaps even worse, replaced it with saline, causing unwitting patients to go without necessary medication while believing their pain was being treated. That is a crime and she has paid the price.”