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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Former Des Moines Pharmacy Technician Pleads Guilty to Illegally Tampering With Fentanyl

DES MOINES, Iowa – A former pharmacy technician pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to tampering with fentanyl by using a syringe to replace the painkiller with another solution.

According to the plea agreement, between September 7, 2016 and October 2, 2016, Victor Van Cleave was employed as a pharmacy technician at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. During that time, Van Cleave had access to fentanyl - a Schedule II controlled substance - that was stored at the hospital for administration to hospital patients. While employed as described above, Van Cleave tampered with the hospital’s fentanyl and fentanyl vials. In particular, Van Cleave inserted a syringe into multiple fentanyl vials, removed the fentanyl with that syringe, and injected the fentanyl into himself. Using a different syringe, Van Cleave then replaced the fentanyl he had removed from the vials with a different fluid. Van Cleave then placed the tampered vials back into storage at the hospital.

The guilty plea was announced by Marc Krickbaum, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. The case was investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley D. Price.

Van Cleave, 29, is scheduled to be sentenced before Chief United States District Judge John A. Jarvey on July 10, 2018, at 1:30 pm.

Prescription Drugs
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 Rachel.Scherle@usdoj.gov
Updated February 27, 2018