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Press Release

Kansas EMT Pleads Guilty To Stealing Morphine from Vials

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

WICHITA, KAN. – An EMT in Jackson County, Kan., pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing morphine from vials, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

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.

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.

Sentencing is set for March 12. The parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of five years on federal probation.

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

Updated December 13, 2018