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Press Release

Red River County Nurse Guilty of Stealing Fentanyl from Hospital Employer

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

SHERMAN, Texas – An Annona, Texas nurse has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.

Crystal McLin Lipe, 41, pleaded guilty on July 27, 2023, to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Aileen Goldman Durrett.

According to court documents presented in court, Lipe worked as a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital in the Eastern District of Texas.  At various points during her time with the hospital, Lipe knowingly accessed and obtained fentanyl, a controlled substance under federal law, for personal use without the hospital’s authorization.  In particular, Lipe acquired the fentanyl fraudulently, by removing the fentanyl from its original vials, replacing the fentanyl with a liquid containing sodium chloride, and failing to disclose her conduct to the hospital.

Lipe faces up to 4 years in federal prison at sentencing.  The maximum statutory sentences prescribed by Congress are provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).


Updated July 28, 2023

Prescription Drugs