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Former Dracut Nurse Pleads Guilty to Tampering with Liquid Morphine

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

United States Department of Justice: District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2019

BOSTON – A former nurse pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston today to diverting liquid morphine intended for hospice patients at a Lowell nursing home.

Michael Langlois, 49, of Dracut, pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count of acquiring a controlled substance by deception and subterfuge. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for Aug. 6, 2019.

On Nov. 16, 2016, Langlois, then a registered nurse, tampered with bottles of liquid morphine that doctors had prescribed for two elderly hospice patients under his care at a Lowell nursing home. In each instance, Langlois took the liquid morphine, a schedule II narcotic used to treat pain, for his own use and then replaced it with saline or Benadryl in an attempt to cover up his crime. As a result his conduct, the patients in Langlois’s care received a less potent dose of the painkiller than they had been prescribed.

On or about April 3, 2017, Mr. Langlois diverted for his own use liquid morphine from a bottle prescribed to an elderly hospice patient under his care at a Melrose nursing home. To conceal his wrongful conduct, Mr. Langlois falsely represented in the medical file of one of his patients, and in the nursing home’s Medication Administration Record, that the liquid morphine for that patient was pure, when that was not in fact the case.

The charge of tampering with a consumer product provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of acquiring a controlled substance provides for sentence no greater than four years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; and Commissioner Monica Bharel, M.D., M.P.H., of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Food and Drugs, Drug Control Program, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Callahan of Lelling’s Healthcare Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

Prescription Drugs

USAO - Massachusetts

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