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Press Release

Former Registered Nurse Charged with Tampering with Medical Grade Fentanyl

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

MIAMI – A South Florida federal grand jury has charged Martin County resident Catherine Shannon Dunton, 54, with tampering with vials of liquid fentanyl at an outpatient surgery center where she worked as a licensed registered nurse. 

Medical providers use a liquid form of fentanyl -- fentanyl citrate -- to keep patients from moving during surgery and relieve their pain. According to the indictment, while working as a nurse at a Martin County outpatient surgery center, Dunton removed liquid fentanyl from vials, refilled them with saline, and returned the adulterated vials to their location for use during surgeries.

If convicted, Dunton faces up to 10 years in prison.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Justin Fielder, Special Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) Miami Field Office, announced the charges.

FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office investigated this matter, with assistance from United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana M. Acosta is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

You may find related court documents and information on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 22-cr-14073-Cannon.


Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Updated December 16, 2022