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Press Release

Butte nurse sentenced to prison for stealing opiates from area medical centers

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

MISSOULA  — A Butte nurse who admitted to stealing opiates while working at area medical centers was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Shantyl Marie Giacoletto, 30, pleaded guilty in June to unlawfully obtaining controlled substances.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Giacoletto was remanded into custody.

The government alleged in court documents that Giacoletto diverted opiates in 2021 while working at medical centers in Anaconda, Butte and Deer Lodge. In June 2021, a Community Hospital of Anaconda manager discovered that Giacoletto, for at least the previous three months, routinely obtained oxycodone from the hospital’s pharmacy but did not administer that drug to the intended patients. A total of 392 oxycodone pills were unaccounted for. When confronted by management, Giacoletto denied diverting drugs, claimed she always administered them to patients and that “nobody scans things.” Other employees discredited Giacoletto’s assertion and indicated it would be “extremely rare” for someone to not record the administration  of a drug to a patient. The hospital terminated Giacoletto’s employment.

The government further alleged that Giacoletto began working at Copper Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Butte 11 days later. Copper Ridge subsequently discovered diversions of hydrocodone, and that Giacoletto had worked shifts at Copper Ridge within days of management discerning the diversions.

Another diversion occurred in October 2021 at Continental Care and Rehabilitation Center in Butte, where Giacoletto worked as a traveling nurse. Dozens of hydrocodone and oxycodone tables were unaccounted for and patient log sheets had been manipulated and destroyed in violation of record-keeping policies. Because of the diversion, a patient had to go without oxycodone for several days until a new supply arrived. Management then announced a drug screening, and most nurses provided urine samples, which were all negative for the diverted drugs. Giacoletto did not submit to the drug test and did not return to work at that facility.

A subsequent diversion occurred in November 2021 at The Ivy in Deer Lodge. The Ivy experienced a significant drug diversion while Giacoletto was working there as a nurse. The director then requested urine samples from the staff. All complied and tested negative except for Giacoletto, who refused and left the facility. Giacoletto’s employer then contacted her and instructed her to provide a sample. Giacoletto returned to the facility several hours later and requested a specific bathroom for the drug test. When she provided the sample, it was cold, which yielded an inconclusive result.

When interviewed by a DEA agent, Giacoletto denied diverting drugs and blamed the medication discrepancies on the poor record keeping practices at the facilities.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anaconda Police Department, Powell County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.





Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer

Updated October 13, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-249