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Paramedic Pleads Guilty to Tampering with Fentanyl and Ketamine Vials

OCI BadgeDepartment of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 3, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – COLIN ANDREW DAVIS, 33, of Oklahoma City, has pleaded guilty to tampering with fentanyl and ketamine vials while working as a paramedic for an emergency air evacuation company, announced First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On April 30, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed an information that charges Davis with tampering with the labeling and container for consumer products in November 2017 in Weatherford, Oklahoma.  According to the information, Davis removed fentanyl and ketamine from vials and replaced them with a sterile saline solution.  As a result, patients undergoing emergency air evacuation could have received saline when medical professionals intended to administer fentanyl or ketamine.  The information alleges Davis took this action with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to that risk.  Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance in the opioid family; ketamine is a Schedule III analgesic often used in anaesthesia.

"When Davis stole these drugs, he made them unavailable for critical emergency treatment and placed patient care in jeopardy," said First Assistant Troester.  "This case is yet another manifestation of the ways in which opioid abuse causes harm in our community.  We are pleased to work with the Food and Drug Administration as part of the Department of Justice’s focus on opioid enforcement, which includes this office’s Western Oklahoma Opioid Enforcement Team."

"Patients experiencing pain severe enough to warrant treatment with opioids must have confidence in their health care provider that they are receiving appropriate medical care," said Special Agent-in-Charge Charles L. Grinstead, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office.  "We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the public health and bring to justice those who tamper with medications which can not only endanger the health of patients by exposing them to contaminated products but also may deny them access to the treatments they need."

At sentencing, Davis faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.  Sentencing will take place in approximately ninety days.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Hutzell is prosecuting the case.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Topic(s):
Opioids
Component(s):
USAO - Oklahoma, Western