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Former Licensed Registered Nurse Agrees to Plead Guilty to Product Tampering Charge

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin 

Monday, May 8, 2023

MADISON, WIS. - Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced the filing of an information and plea agreement charging Dawn Drum, 54, Janesville, Wisconsin, with product tampering while employed as a Registered Nurse at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Janesville in November 2021.

According to the information and plea agreement filed today, Drum tampered with vials of fentanyl by withdrawing the drug from the vials and replacing it with saline and then resealing the vial stopper with what appeared to be superglue. Drum then put the tampered vials back into a Pyxis machine, an automated medication dispensing system, so that the tampered fentanyl vials would be available for use with other patients at the hospital.  An audit of the Pyxis transactions in Drum’s name revealed that she had an excessive pattern of fentanyl overrides and wastes when compared to other employees in 2021. In November 2021, hospital management confronted Drum with this discrepancy and asked her to take a drug test. Drum refused and instead resigned from her position at the hospital.

According to the plea agreement, the parties are recommending the Court impose a sentence of 18 months imprisonment and a fine of $30,000 due and payable immediately at sentencing.  A date for Drum’s plea hearing has not been scheduled.  The statutory maximum penalties for the product tampering charge are 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges against Drum were the result of an investigation conducted by the Food and Drug Administration--Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration--Diversion Control Division.  The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.

Prescription Drugs

USAO - Wisconsin, Western

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