OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A Weatherford paramedic has been sentenced to six months in prison on federal charges for tampering with fentanyl and ketamine vials.
34-year-old Colin Andrew Davis was found guilty of tampering with the medication while working as a paramedic for an emergency air evacuation company in November 2017.
According to the affidavit, 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 give them 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 medical professionals tamper with pharmaceuticals, the risk of patient harm warrants criminal prosecution, particularly when the patients at issue are so badly injured they need emergency evacuation,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing. “I am thankful to the Food and Drug Administration for its partnership in addressing the opioid crisis.”
According to the federal charges, Davis acted 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.
The prosecution presented evidence that showed a narcotics log which indicated medical professionals had administered fentanyl to three patients and ketamine to one patient before Davis admitted that he had tampered with the vials.
Prosecutors also pointed out that a life flight had to be canceled because Davis was so confused and disoriented he was unable to perform his duties.
Today, U.S. District Judge Charles B. Goodwin sentenced Davis to six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
“Patients deserve to have confidence that they are not only receiving the proper treatment from those entrusted with providing their medical care, but also that they are not being placed at an increased risk of harm,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead, of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office. “We will continue to protect the public health and bring to justice health care professionals who take advantage of their unique position and compromise their patients’ health and comfort by tampering with needed drugs.”