Missouri paramedic admits tampering with ambulance narcotics


FILE – This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. Newly released federal data shows how drugmakers and distributors increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the U.S. as the nation’s addiction crisis accelerated from 2006 to 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

JOPLIN, Mo. – A Missouri emergency medical technician has pleaded guilty to stealing painkillers from an ambulance and diluting the drugs with water and saline to cover his tracks.

The Joplin Globe reports that 37-year-old James Poole, of Webb City, faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in federal court in Springfield to a charge of tampering with a consumer product.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield said in a news release that the investigation began earlier this year after paramedics with Mercy Hospital Carthage noticed puncture marks on a fentanyl vial and then drew fentanyl from a vial that didn’t contain enough fluid for a full dose.

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