Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
June 21, 2012: Ocala Man Pleads Guilty to Medical Tampering Charges and to Firearm Charge
Tampa, FL - Justin Brian Horan (26, Ocala) pled guilty today in two separate federal cases. In the first case, he pled to two charges of tampering with a consumer product. Horan faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison on each tampering charge. He was initially arrested on the tampering charges in Ocala on December 8, 2011. In the second case pending in the Middle District of Florida, Horan pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The maximum penalty for this charge is also ten years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement in the tampering case, from 2003 until May 1, 2008, Horan was employed as a non-certified Operating Room Technician, or Scrub Tech, at Oak Hill Hospital, in Brooksville, Florida. On May 7, 2008, a total of 17 vials of single-use morphine and 5 vials of midazolam (or Versed) at Oak Hill Hospital were found to be tampered with. Most of these tampered vials were found to be around 10% of their original strength. Horan tampered with the vials of morphine and Versed by substantially diluting the vials with saline. Horan knew that these vials were intended to be dispensed to patients at Oak Hill Hospital for pain relief and sedation. He admitted using syringes and dermabond, an adhesive material that was available in the operating room, to remove morphine and Versed from unused vials found in anesthesia boxes stored in the operating room pharmacy. Horan then refilled the vials he emptied with saline and "glued" the vial lids back on, to avoid detection. The vials were then returned to the pharmacy.
Horan admitted that he acted with reckless disregard for others, and extreme indifference to the risk of bodily injury to others. He also admitted to unlawfully removing blank prescriptions from Oak Hill Hospital. Two of these prescriptions were fraudulently completed in Horan's name for 240 oxycodone pills. Horan filled these prescriptions at a local pharmacy.
According to the plea agreement in the second case, in May 2011, Horan attempted to sell two firearms to a an undercover law enforcement officer. At the time, Horan was a convicted felon, and therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
The tampering case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and the Hernando County Sheriff's Offices. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.
The felon in possession of a firearm case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie Harris.