Pittsfield Nurse Pleads Guilty to Stealing Fentanyl from Critical Care Patient

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BOSTON – A Pittsfield woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield to stealing fentanyl being administered to a patient in the critical care unit.

Jessica Lotto, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, deceit or subterfuge. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Jan. 25, 2023. Lotto was charged in November 2021.

In February 2019, while working as a nurse at Berkshire Medical Center, Lotto entered a patient’s room in the critical care unit where she used a syringe to steal fentanyl being administered to the patient through an IV line. Lotto later admitted to taking the drug from the patient.

The charge of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deceit or subterfuge provides for a sentence of up to four years in prison, one year 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Brian McClune, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; and Margret R. Cooke, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Deepika Bains Shukla, Chief of Rollins’ Springfield Branch Office, is prosecuting the case.