DENVER (CBS4) – The former surgery technician who pleaded guilty to taking fentanyl from patients at Swedish Medical Center and was sentenced to 6½ years in prison tried to appeal that sentence. The court said “no.”
As part of his guilty plea agreement, Rocky Allen, a former Navy medic who is also HIV positive, was allowed to voluntarily surrender to begin his sentence last fall.
Allen asked the federal court for permission to visit his family in Idaho before reporting to prison, but the judge denied that request.
Instead, Allen went anyway and was ordered to return to Colorado where he was charged with criminal contempt. The judge sentenced him to an additional year in jail.
In his appeal of the initial sentence, Allen argued that the sentence did not fit the crime. The court of appeals ruled that the sentence was reasonable.
The theft of painkillers from Swedish Medical Center raised concerns that thousands of patients may have been exposed to the disease, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C, through possibly contaminated needles.
It cost $800,000 to test all the patients who may have been exposed to the diseases. The state health department found no evidence of HIV transferred from Allen to anyone else.
This wasn’t Allen’s first encounter with allegations of painkiller theft. He was fired from four hospitals around the West for similar allegations, including California, Washington and Arizona. All were put on alert and patients were tested as a precaution.
He was also court-martialed for stealing drugs while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.