Former Nurse Sentenced for Drug Diversion from Boston-Area Hospital
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A former nurse was sentenced yesterday in federal court today in Boston for diverting opioids from a Boston-area hospital.
Andrea Falzano, 39, of Winchester, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to three months in prison and one year of supervised release. In August 2023, Falzano pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawfully obtaining controlled substances by fraud, deception, and subterfuge.
“Our office is committed to fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts, including the diversion of medical opioids by unethical health care providers like Ms. Falzano. This defendant took advantage of her position of trust to steal drugs from her employer,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.
“The DEA is committed to ensuring the Controlled Substances Act is followed,” said Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Office. “Stealing drugs like opioids from hospitals’ controlled environments jeopardizes public health and public safety. DEA pledges to work with our law enforcement partners in Massachusetts to ensure these rules and regulations are followed by all.”
Beginning in May 2019, Falzano used her capacity as a nurse in the emergency department at a Massachusetts based hospital to withdraw controlled substances from a locked drug cabinet. These substances included morphine, fentanyl and hydromorphone, all of which are opioids and Schedule II controlled substances. In total, Falzano withdrew these substances 412 times for 299 already discharged patients over an approximately five-month period. Negative drug tests uncovered during the investigation indicated that Falzano did not self-administer the drugs that she stole from the hospital at which she was employed, despite stating otherwise to her employer and the Board of Registration in Nursing. In statements to the Board, Falzano attempted to minimize her conduct by calling her theft of controlled substances an “isolated incident,” which it was not.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; DEA SAC Boyle; and Robert H. Goldstein, MD, PhD, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Panich of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.
Updated November 15, 2023