April 7, 2016: Former Nurse Sentenced for Stealing Narcotics from Hospital
BOSTON – A former nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Springfield for stealing pain medication from the hospital’s automated drug dispensing machine.
Daniel Herlocker, 41, of Brattleboro, Vt., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to two years of probation, including three months of home confinement. In January 2016, he pleaded guilty to acquiring and obtaining controlled substances by deception and subterfuge.
In the fall of 2014, while Herlocker was employed as a nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, he diverted Dilaudid, also known as hydromorphone, and 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.
This case was brought as part of the federal response to the growing opioid abuse epidemic in Massachusetts and other New England states. Theft of controlled substances by medical professionals not only puts patients at risk when they are deprived of their medication, but also fuels the pipeline of illegal prescription opioids
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Russell Hermann, 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.