Former Kansas EMT sentenced to probation for stealing morphine

WICHITA, Kan. – A former emergency medical technician in Jackson County, Kan., was sentenced Tuesday to five years on federal probation for stealing morphine from vials, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reported.

Colby W. VanWagoner, 33, Mayetta, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining a controlled substance by deception and one count of making a false statement during an investigation. One condition of his release is he not engage in any occupation that would give him access to controlled substances without prior approval from his probation officer. He also must complete an approved substance abuse program.

The crimes took place while VanWagoner was working for the Jackson County Emergency Medical Service, in Holton, Kan. In his plea, VanWagoner admitted he tampered with vials of morphine sulfate. He replaced morphine with saline solution and put the vials back into narcotic boxes on ambulances and in office stocks. Tests showed the concentration of morphine in vials that had been tampered with was low as 1 percent or less. The concentration of morphine should have been 100 percent.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister commended the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett for their work on the case.

Information thanks to the U.S Attorney’s Office District of Kansas.

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