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Justice News

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Former Health Care Center Nursing Supervisor Indicted for Selling Hydrocodone and other Pain Killers


     BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul announced today a federal grand jury handed down a four-count indictment charging Catherine Vitello, 41, of Elma, N.Y., with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of hydrocodone, fentanyl and alprazolam, and maintaining a drug involved premises. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John M. Alsup, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was the Director of Nursing at the St. Catherine Laboure Health Care Center in Buffalo. According to the indictment, Vitello sold un-used prescription drugs from her office. These controlled substances included hydrocodone, fentanyl, and alprazolam. On three separate occasions in October 2013, the defendant sold hydrocodone, fentanyl and alprazolam to a confidential source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Updated November 24, 2014