Employees of institutions that use prescription pain killers to treat patients are often tempted to feed their own drug habit by stealing drugs from their employer. Such thefts increase costs to patients who need the drugs and feed the addiction of the employee. In a recent example of such a drug crime, law enforcement officers in Hernando County recently arrested a nurse for allegedly stealing pain killers from the institution where she worked.
The suspect was employed as a nurse at Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. The rehabilitation center reported the suspect to the Hernando County Sheriff’s office when its staff noticed missing medication. Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies say that the woman cooperated with them in their investigation after she was arrested. The nurse allegedly told deputies that she had been struggling with drug addiction for years. She said that her addiction began when she was prescribed strong pain killers for an injury.
In order to cover up her alleged thefts, she ordered extra doses of drugs such as Percocet, morphine, codeine and alprazolam (commonly called Xanax). She is accused of stealing more than 10,000 tablets containing the pain killing medication. Deputies allegedly found more than 300 empty blister packs in her house that the woman was believed to have stolen. The 300 blister packs held a total of 10,000 tablets. The woman faces 15 separate charges, including 12 counts of unauthorized possession of a controlled substance.
The defendant in this case is facing serious criminal charges. A conviction could mean several years of incarceration and a significant fine. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on the law and evidence that will govern the case and for assistance in negotiating a favorable plea agreement.