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Press Release

Dodge County Nurse Pleads Guilty to Opioid Diversion

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

MINNEAPOLIS – A Dodge County woman has pleaded guilty to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, Jennifer Lee Garrison, 40, was employed as a post-anesthesia care nurse at a hospital. Garrison had access to controlled and uncontrolled substances stored within an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC). The ADC in Garrison’s unit stored multiple medicines, including oxycodone and oxybutynin. Beginning in August 2022, the defendant began diverting oxycodone pills for her own use instead of giving it to her patients. By July 2023, the defendant was diverting up to six oxycodone pills per day.

Garrison carried out her diversion scheme using two primary means. At times, patients were prescribed two oxycodone pills. The defendant would withdraw both pills from the ADC but would give the patient only one pill. The defendant would keep the other pill for her own use and falsified patient pain reports to cover up her scheme. On other occasions, Garrison would enter a transaction on the ADC for oxybutynin. When the drawer for oxybutynin opened, the defendant would remove an oxybutynin pill. She would then cancel the transaction on the ADC, making it appear that she had simply accessed the wrong drawer by accident. With the ADC still accessible, the defendant then opened a drawer for oxycodone and removed an oxycodone pill. The defendant kept the oxycodone pill for herself and gave the patient oxybutynin.

Garrison pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court before Judge Jerry W. Blackwell to one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Campbell Warner is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 24, 2024