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Supervisory Paramedic Sentenced for Tampering with Drug Vials

OCI BadgeDepartment of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  – A federal judge yesterday sentenced a supervisory paramedic for theft of fentanyl from a local ambulance service, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office.

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Michael Greenhaw, 43, of Arab, to 51 months in prison.  Greenhaw pleaded guilty to on one-count of tampering with a consumer product in October 2019.  

“Greenhaw put vulnerable patients in grave danger by replacing fentanyl citrate with saline in vials that he knew were intended to be administered to critically ill or injured patients,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona.  “Greenhaw’s criminal conduct undermines the tireless efforts of first responders who work hard to make sure that patients receive the necessary emergency medical care.”

“The FDA is fully committed to the vigorous criminal prosecution of any individual who threatens the safety and security of the U.S. drug supply and compromises patient health and comfort,” said Justin C. Fielder, Special Agent in Charge, FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations’ Miami Field Office. “The sentencing in this case should send a clear signal that this kind of illicit tampering activity will not be tolerated.”

According to the plea agreement, Greenhaw tampered with approximately 129 vials of fentanyl citrate from April 2018 through August 2018, while employed as a supervisory paramedic at First Response Ambulance Service in Decatur, Alabama.  Greenhaw had access to the narcotics vault where the fentanyl was stored.  During his shift, Greenhaw removed fentanyl citrate from vials using a syringe and replaced the fentanyl with saline.  The vials filled with saline were placed back into the narcotics safe.  Greenhaw stole the fentanyl for personal use.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office investigated the case, along with the Decatur Police Department and Arab Police Department.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell prosecuted the case.


USAO - Alabama, Northern

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