June 22, 2017: Paramedic Pleads Guilty to Removing Liquid Fentanyl from Ambulance
Boston – A paramedic pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to diverting fentanyl intended for patients for his own use.
Joseph V. Amello, 50, of Rowley, Mass., pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring a controlled substance by deception and subterfuge and one count of tampering with a consumer product. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Sept. 28, 2017.
From approximately Nov. 15, 2014, to Aug. 7, 2015, while working as a paramedic for an ambulance company, Amello diverted over 650 vials of fentanyl. In addition, beginning on or around July 1, 2015, Amello removed fentanyl from a number of vials intended for ambulance patients and replaced the fentanyl with another solution.
The charge of acquiring a controlled substance provides for a sentence of no greater than four years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000; and 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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; 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 Miranda Hooker of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.