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Press Release

Yankton Woman Charged with Tampering with Consumer Products and Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud

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

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Yankton, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for two counts of Tampering with Consumer Products and two counts of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Misrepresentation, Fraud, Forgery, Deception, and Subterfuge.

Lisa Merrigan, age 54, was indicted in October of 2022. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on October 6, 2022, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and up to $400 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

Counts one and two of the Indictment allege that on August 23, 2021, and September 7, 2021, Merrigan, who was working as a registered nurse in a hospital, tampered with vials of fentanyl citrate for injection stored inside the hospital’s Omnicell machine by removing the fentanyl citrate from the vials and replacing them with another liquid, knowing that the diluted fentanyl citrate could be dispensed to patients at the hospital.

Counts three and four of the Indictment allege that on August 23, 2021, and September 7, 2021, Merrigan knowingly and intentionally acquired and obtained fentanyl citrate, a Schedule II controlled substance, for injections by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, and subterfuge.

The charges are merely accusations and Merrigan is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman is prosecuting the case.   

Merrigan was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not been set.

Updated October 11, 2022