KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department paramedic has been indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing fentanyl and morphine from ambulances and replacing fentanyl with another substance.
Michael L. Fostich, 36, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged in a two-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Fostich’s arrest and initial court appearance.
Fostich is charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud (related to the theft of fentanyl and morphine) and one count of tampering with a consumer product (related to the replacement of fentanyl with another substance).
Fostich was employed at the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) as a paramedic from August 2014 to Dec. 11, 2016. Fostich had access to fentanyl and morphine, which were stored in sealed narcotics boxes and locked in safes on KCFD ambulances. Each sealed narcotics box contained two vials of fentanyl, each containing 100 micrograms of liquid fentanyl, two syringes of morphine, each containing 10 milligrams of liquid morphine, and two vials containing 5 milligrams of liquid midazolam. As a paramedic, Fostich was able to unlock the electronic safe and open the sealed narcotics boxes in order to administer controlled substances to patients, if necessary.
The federal indictment alleges that Fostich engaged in a scheme from Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 11, 2016, to fraudulently obtain fentanyl and morphine. As part of the scheme, Fostich allegedly prepared patient care records and state reporting forms that contained misrepresentations regarding his use of fentanyl and morphine.
According to the indictment, Fostich reported he was responsible for the use of 806 doses of fentanyl, which accounted for approximately 39 percent of all of the KCFD’s total reported use during that period of time. Fostich also reported he was responsible for the use of 636 doses of morphine, which accounted for approximately 63 percent of all of the KCFD’s total reported use of morphine during that period of time.
The federal indictment also alleges that Fostich tampered with a container of fentanyl on Dec. 11, 2016. Fostich removed fentanyl from the vials contained in a KCFD narcotics box and replaced them with another solution in the vials, the indictment says, with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury. Fostich allegedly placed the vials back in the narcotics box, attempted to reseal the narcotics box, and then placed the narcotics box back in a safe located on a KCFD ambulance.
The charges contained in this indictment are accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jess E. Michaelsen and Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigation.