News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Removed Pain Medication and Replaced Drug with Tap Water, Endangering Public

January 21, 2011

BRADLEY CURTIS ALLEN, 60, of Camas, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release for product tampering. ALLEN is a former paramedic and Captain with the Camas Fire Department. ALLEN was responsible for ordering the medications carried on the fire department medic units. On May 7, 2010, paramedics reviewing the medications on one of the rigs discovered the pain-killing medication in an injectable vial had been tampered with. The paramedics determined that all of the pain medication, Fentanyl, was missing from department storage areas. ALLEN told Camas police officers that he had been stealing and using the Fentanyl for three years. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the crime was an abuse of the public trust.

ALLEN was a 22-year veteran of the Camas Fire Department before he was fired for stealing the medications. ALLEN admitted that when he took the Fentanyl, he simply replaced it with unsterilized tap water – putting the public at risk. In fact during the time period when ALLEN was stealing Fentanyl, there was a countywide shortage of the medication and fire departments were having to borrow from each other to have enough medication on their emergency rigs.

In her request for a prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Lally explained how ALLEN’s actions posed a risk to public safety. “Bradley Allen’s on-going illegal and dangerous conduct put the public at risk. The risks associated with filling Fentanyl carpujects with water and placing them in an ambulance were serious: first, a person in need of emergency pain medicine would not be treated, second, that person would have been injected, instead, with an unsterile solution and third, the emergency hospital staff would have received inaccurate information about the patient’s initial treatment (that pain medicine had been delivered when, in fact, it had not),” Ms. Lally wrote in her sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the Camas Police Department and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OIG). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Lally.


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