Parker Nurse Pleads Guilty To Obtaining A Controlled Substance By Deceit
DENVER – Parker nurse Mary Panza, aka Mary Bowers, pled guilty today to obtaining a controlled substance by deceit in front of U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn, U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn and FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge Charles Grinstead announced. Panza worked at the Ridge View Endoscopy Center where she administered drugs, including fentanyl. The defendant will be sentenced on March 26, 2019. She is free on bond.
Panza was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on October 11, 2018. She pled guilty today, December 18, 2018. According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on August 3, 2018, Panza was found by police and paramedics on the floor of her bathroom unconscious with a syringe in her right hand. Two doses of Narcan, a substance used to revive opioid overdose victims, were administered which resulted in Panza regaining consciousness. It was then determined by officers that she had taken fentanyl, a powerful painkiller. Officers found six vials of Benadryl and one vial of Promethazine in her purse, which she used to hide the fentanyl. Further, multiple syringes and a rubber tourniquet were found in her bathroom.
After being transported to Parker Adventist Hospital, officers found multiple vials of what turned out to be fentanyl in her bathrobe. She was not prescribed the drug, and it was determined that she removed the painkiller while working at the endoscopy center where she was in charge of tracking the pain killer. She would empty wasted medication into vials labeled Benadryl, Promethazine and Zofran. She would do this on average of once a week for approximately 10 months. She had done the same thing with her prior employer, Denver Endoscopy on a “handful of occasions,” according to the plea agreement.
This case was investigated by the FDA-Office of Criminal Investigation. The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena.