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OKLAHOMA CITY – A former paramedic has pleaded guilty to tampering with serious narcotics while on the job.

According to court documents, officials say 33-year-old Colin Andrew Davis removed fentanyl and ketamine from vials and replaced them with a sterile saline solution while he was a paramedic for an emergency air evacuation company.

As a result, investigators say patients who underwent emergency evacuations could have received saline when they needed fentanyl or ketamine. Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance in the opioid family; ketamine is a Schedule III analgesic often used in anesthesia.

“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.”

Davis has since pleaded guilty to tampering, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.

“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.”