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Press Release

Paramedic Sentenced to Prison for Tampering with Fentanyl and Ketamine Vials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – COLIN ANDREW DAVIS, 34, of Oklahoma City, has been sentenced to six months in prison for tampering with fentanyl and ketamine vials while working as a paramedic for an emergency air evacuation company, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.

On April 30, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed an information that charged Davis with tampering with the labeling and container for consumer products in November 2017 in Weatherford, Oklahoma.  According to the information, Davis removed fentanyl and ketamine from vials and replaced them with a sterile saline solution.  As a result, patients undergoing emergency air evacuation could have received saline when medical professionals intended to administer fentanyl or ketamine.  Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance in the opioid family; ketamine is a Schedule III analgesic often used in anaesthesia.

According to the government’s charges, Davis acted with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to that risk.  In a court filing in anticipation of sentencing, the United States stated that a narcotics log showed medical professionals had administered fentanyl to three patients and ketamine to one patient before Davis admitted to his employer that he had tampered with the vials.   The government also pointed out that a life flight had to be canceled because Davis was so confused and disoriented he was unable to perform his duties.

Today, U.S. District Judge Charles B. Goodwin sentenced Davis to six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

"When medical professionals tamper with pharmaceuticals, the risk of patient harm warrants criminal prosecution, particularly when the patients at issue are so badly injured they need emergency evacuation," said U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.  "I am thankful to the Food and Drug Administration for its partnership in addressing the opioid crisis."

"Patients deserve to have confidence that they are not only receiving the proper treatment from those entrusted with providing their medical care, but also that they are not being placed at an increased risk of harm," said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead, of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City Field Office.  "We will continue to protect the public health and bring to justice health care professionals who take advantage of their unique position and compromise their patients’ health and comfort by tampering with needed drugs."

This case was the result of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Hutzell prosecuted the case.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.


Updated December 10, 2019