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Press Release

Former Nurse Pleads Guilty to Tampering with a Consumer Product

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

MIAMI – Catherine Shannon Dunton, 54, has pled guilty in federal district court in Fort Pierce to tampering with a consumer product.

From approximately February 28 to April 18, 2022, Dunton, a Florida licensed Registered Nurse (RN), worked at an outpatient surgical center in Jensen Beach, Martin County, Fla. as a circulating nurse. While working at the center, Dunton took vials of fentanyl, a narcotic painkiller in liquid form, and self-administered it by injection. To avoid detection, she replaced the fentanyl from nearly 450 vials with saline solution, and then returned the adulterated vials to the center for use during outpatient surgical procedures.

At sentencing, Dunton faces up to 10 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is set for June 27, at 10:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI), Miami Field Office, announced the guilty plea.

FDA-OCI Miami investigated the case, with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana M. Acosta is prosecuting the case.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at under case number 22-cr-14073.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated July 10, 2023

Consumer Protection
Prescription Drugs