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Press Release

Worcester Nurse Pleads Guilty to Stealing Pain Medication from Patients

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

BOSTON – A nurse pleaded guilty on today in U.S. District Court in Worcester to stealing pain medication from patients in a nursing care facility in Worcester.

Joanna Dacri, 34, of Auburn, Mass., pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring and obtaining Oxycodone by deception.  U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing Jan. 29, 2016.

From February to June 2014, Dacri was a nurse at a Worcester nursing care facility.  During that period, she stole numerous Oxycodone tablets prescribed to three patients, and surreptitiously substituted other, similar-looking tablets, specifically Loratadine (antihistamine) tablets and Mirtazapine (antidepressant) tablets, in place of the Oxycodone tablets.   

The charge provides for a sentence of no greater than four years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Spencer Morrison, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, Boston Resident Office; Michael Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Commissioner Monica Bharel, M.D., M.P.H, of Massachusetts Department of Health, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Young Paik of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Updated November 5, 2015

Health Care Fraud