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Press Release

Ardmore Nurse Sentenced For Tampering With Pain Medication

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Rebecca Elaine Holloway, age 33, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for one count of Tampering with Consumer Products, a violation of Title 18, United Sates Code, Section 1365.

The charges arose from investigations by the Food and Drug Administration—Office of Criminal Investigations and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

On August 31, 2023, Holloway entered a guilty plea, admitting to stealing fentanyl and hydromorphone intended for intensive care patients while she was employed at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  According to investigators, Holloway removed the pain medication from their vials, refilled the empty vials with tap water, and returned the tampered vials to the controlled storage locker.  Holloway admitted she did so despite knowing the pain medication vials were intended for patients in acute pain and distress, and that by depriving patients of the medication, she knew she was placing them at risk of death and bodily injury.

“Patients rely on the knowledge that they will receive FDA-approved medications to manage their pain,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles Grinstead, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office.  “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice healthcare professionals who jeopardize patients’ health by tampering with their pain medications.”

“The defendant did not merely steal drugs from a hospital: she compromised the health, safety, and comfort of vulnerable patients when she tampered with their medications for her own self-serving ends,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson.  “This office stands ready to prosecute those who would callously exploit medical patients, and we are grateful to the FDA and the OBN for their outstanding work in investigating this case.”

The Honorable Ronald A. White, Chief Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over the hearing.  Holloway will self-report on June 6, 2024, to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve a non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorney Kara Traster and Associate Chief Counsel Jason Chandler of the Food and Drug Administration represented the United States.

Updated April 10, 2024

Consumer Protection
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs