By Dominic Garcia
DENVER (CBS4)– A former nurse at the Denver VA has been charged with stealing fentanyl. Investigators say it happened in 2016 and on several occasions, Lisa Marie Jones removed fentanyl from a vial and replaced it with another substance.
The VA released a statement reading, “We can confirm the individual had been employed as a contracted agency nurse at the Denver VAMC for approximately one month when the allegations were investigated. The employee was removed immediately and has not worked at the hospital since then.”
The VA added that no patients were harmed. Jones faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted and has a tentative jury trial set for December. A call to her lawyer wasn’t returned.
This isn’t the first time a Colorado medical professional has been in trouble for stealing fentanyl. In 2010 Kristen Parker, a surgery tech at Rose Medical Center was sentenced to 30 years in prison for swapping fentanyl syringes and infecting more than a dozen people with hepatitis C.
Last year Rocky Allen, a surgery tech at Swedish Medical Center was sentenced to 6-and-a-half years for similar crimes.
Donald Witte is an addiction counselor at Arapahoe House and says fentanyl is about 100 times more powerful than morphine and dramatically more potent than heroin.
“Fentanyl is a dramatically addictive substance. Opioids tend to be one of the more difficult substances to get clean from. The relapse potential is very high,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.