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Former ER nurse sentenced to 3 years for stealing pain medication

An image of handcuffs. A 53-year-old woman was arrested for her role in the death of her 5-year-old granddaughter Kinsleigh Welty on April 9, 2024. (WISH Image)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A former emergency department nurse at Franciscan Health in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for tampering with patient medication.

Jennifer Adams, 38, of Indianapolis, was accused of tampering with injectable pain medications, including fentanyl, morphine, ketamine, and more, from October 2018 to February 2020 while employed as a registered nurse.

According to a release made by the United States Attorney’s Office Wednesday, Adams gained access to the medications without authorization and used them on herself with the aid of an automated medication dispensing machine.

Adams, after using the medication, refilled the vials with saline and super-glued the lids back on, investigators say. Adams then proceeded to use the tampered medication on thirty to forty patients in need of pain relief.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement, “Most healthcare workers are heroes and work very hard to save lives, but when one person decides to abuse this power, patients suffer tremendously.”

In the statement, Rokita also says this behavior from healthcare professionals is unacceptable. “We should be able to trust our doctors and nurses and not have to worry about tampered medication,” Rokita said.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary Myers says in the release that he encourages any healthcare officials struggling with substance abuse to seek help.

Adams was ordered 3 years of probation and supervision after her release from federal prison and also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.