Bradford Paramedic Allegedly Stole Drugs
32-year-old Brandon Landuyt allegedly took some morphine and fentanyl from vials in a storage locker, but didn’t empty the vials, and then filled them with saline to make it look as if they were still full. Papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office say he told police he had been stealing and using the drugs from January of last year until Thursday.
He’s charged with two felony counts of theft by unlawful taking as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and recklessly endangering another person. He was arraigned by District Judge David Engman late last night and sent to McKean County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Here’s the rest of the story (from the affidavit of probable cause):
On July 2 Fire Chief Chris Angell contacted Police Chief Chris Lucco and asked him to look into a possible theft of some narcotics from their services. Lucco met with Captain Rich Zmuda (acting ALS coordinator) and learned that their sock of Fentanyl and morphine may have been tampered with.
Zmuda said on July 1 he took a report of Lt. JD Tehle (ALS quality control officer) saying he believed vials of morphine in the sub-stock storage unit and ambulances had been compromised, and it appeared two vials of morphine had been tampered with by someone who had access to secured narcotic storage. The protective discs were removed from the tops of the vials, and it appeared that vials had been perforated in the access port. The volume of fluid inside the vials appeared to be different from each other. Also, there was a white film on top of the metal cap where the protective disc should have been attached. They noticed similar perforations on film on 14 other vials.
Tehle ordered paramedics to remove all morphine vials from all the ALS units at the Central fire station, and had the East Bradford station check their stock. Tehle said it appeared that all of the vials in the ambulances at the Central station had been tampered with, but none from East Bradford had been compromised. Tehle reported his findings to Zmuda, who order that all vials of morphine be removed from sub-stock storage and secured for investigation. Upon further investigation they learned that the fentanyl ampules had been tampered with as well.
Police interview Landuyt on Thursday and say he confessed that he had stolen the drugs and over the course of his employment (January 12, 2012, to Thursday) he had been stealing and using the drugs through various means. He said he started misusing them by saving any remaining medication that was not administered to patients, and would later inject the stolen drugs into his buttocks using an intramuscular injection.
He went on to tell police that on June 12 he gained access to the secured narcotics storage locked and emptied an expired vial of atropine. He then removed all of the protective discs from the vials and then took morphine from about 25 vials, put it in the empty atropine vial and put that in his pocket. He said he injected normal saline into each vial in an attempt to cover up the removal of the narcotic solution. Then, he bought liquid adhesive, went back to the storage locker and attempted to re-attach the protective discs to the tops of the vials. On June 12 and 14 he injected himself with the stolen morphine while at his home.
Assistant Chief Mike Ward and Sgt. Todd Erickson investigated for the police department.