BOSTON, MASS – A Connecticut nurse pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield to tampering with liquid morphine prescribed to a patient.
Danielle Works, 42, of Stafford Springs, Conn., pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product before U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni, who scheduled sentencing for June 2, 2021. Works was charged in Oct. 2020.
On Jan. 27, 2018, Works tampered with a bottle of morphine prescribed to a patient at Governor’s Center, a nursing facility in Westfield, by removing the morphine from the bottle and diluting the remaining morphine with another substance. The morphine was prescribed to a hospice patient, who subsequently received diluted doses of the medication shortly before her death. After ingesting the morphine, Works was observed to be significantly impaired while providing care to patients at the nursing facility.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; and Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Looney of Mendell’s Health Care Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.