January 7, 2016: Former Nurse Pleads Guilty to Stealing Narcotics from Hospital
BOSTON – A former nurse at Franklin Baystate Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Springfield to stealing pain medication from the hospital’s automated drug dispensing machine.
Daniel Herlocker, 41, of Brattleboro, Vt., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with acquiring and obtaining controlled substances by deception and subterfuge.
In fall 2014, while Herlocker was employed as a nurse at Franklin County Medical Center, he diverted Dilaudid, also known as hydromorphone, as well as morphine from sterile cartridge units known as carpujects. The carpujects were stored in an automated drug dispensing machine. Herlocker syphoned the drugs from the carpujects with sterile needles and replaced the medications with sterile saline solution.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than four years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Spencer Morrison, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; and Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Food and Drugs, Drug Control Program, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.