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July 10, 2018: Former Des Moines Pharmacy Technician Sentenced for Illegally Tampering with Fentanyl


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Food and Drug Administration 
Office of Criminal Investigations




             U.S. Department of Justice Press Release



For Immediate Release
July 10, 2018

United States Department of Justice

Southern District of Iowa


DES MOINES, Iowa – On July 10, 2018, Victor Van Cleave, age 30, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge John A. Jarvey to 30 months in prison for tampering with consumer products, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. Van Cleave was ordered to serve three years of supervised release to follow his prison term.


According to the plea agreement entered on February 26, 2018, between September 7, 2016 and October 2, 2016, Van Cleave was employed as a pharmacy technician at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. During that time, Van Cleave had access to fentanyl—a Schedule II controlled substance—that was stored at the hospital for administration to hospital patients. Van Cleave tampered with the hospital’s fentanyl and fentanyl vials during the course of his employment. Specifically, Van Cleave inserted a syringe into multiple fentanyl vials, removed the fentanyl with that syringe, and injected the fentanyl into himself. Using a different syringe, Van Cleave then replaced the fentanyl he had removed from the vials with a different fluid. Van Cleave then placed the tampered vials back into storage at the hospital.


This investigation was conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.




Prescription Drugs



Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

USAO - Iowa, Southern



Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 Rachel.Scherle@usdoj.gov





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