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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nurse Practitioner from Santa Fe Sentenced to Probation for Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substances

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative Which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Nicole Renee Broderson, 45, of Santa Fe, N.M., was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to two years of probation for the misdemeanor offense of unlawfully dispensing controlled substances. Broderson also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. As a result of this conviction, Broderson’s nurse practitioner’s license was suspended until May 2017, and she was required to forfeit her license to prescribe controlled substances.

 

Broderson was charged on Sept. 19, 2016, in a misdemeanor information with possession of “Ritalin” and hydrocodone from Jan. 2012 through April 2013, in Santa Fe County, N.M.

 

According to court documents, Broderson is a certified Nurse Practitioner who has been registered as a mid-level practitioner with the DEA since Oct. 2011, and is authorized to prescribe Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. From 2011 to 2013, Broderson practiced as a psychiatric nurse in Santa Fe, initially under the supervision of medical doctors. In mid-2012, Broderson began practicing as a solo-practitioner doing business as Broderson Psychiatric Services.

 

On Sept. 19, 2016, Broderson pled guilty to the misdemeanor information. In entering the guilty plea, Broderson admitted that from Jan. 2012 through April 2013, she issued to certain patients multiple, often overlapping prescriptions for “Ritalin” and hydrocodone that significantly exceeded the medically recommended dosages. Broderson further admitted instructing those patients to deliver the “Ritalin” and hydrocodone to her. Broderson admitted that prescribing, retaining, and possessing “Ritalin” and hydrocodone in this manner exceeded any legitimate medical purpose and was outside of the usual course of professional practice.

 

This case was investigated by the DEA and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez as part of the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico. Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities. Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.

 

The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components: (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning. HOPE’s law enforcement component is led by the Organized Crime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA in conjunction with their federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners. Targeting members of major heroin and opioid trafficking organizations for investigation and prosecution is a priority of the HOPE Initiative. Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at http://www.HopeInitiativeNM.org.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated January 24, 2017