News Release
July 9, 2009
Contact: Mike Turner
Number: 303-705-7446

Colorado Nurse Ordered Detained Without Bond

JUL 09 -- DENVER - Kristen Diane Parker, age 26, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who was formerly a Scrub Surgery Tech at Rose Medical Center in Denver and at Audubon Surgery Center in Colorado Springs, appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver today for a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. Parker, through her attorney, waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Parker did contest her detention. Ultimately, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer found there was probable cause that Parker committed the crimes alleged in the Criminal Complaint. Magistrate Judge Shaffer also ordered Parker detained without bond, ruling that she is a danger to the community. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena, who is prosecuting Parker, notified the court that an Indictment is likely by July 23, 2009. Parker is scheduled to next appear in federal court for a status conference at 10:30 am on August 6, 2009.

Parker is charged by Criminal Complaint with:

Count 1: Tampering with a Consumer Product and Aiding and Abetting the same, which is punishable by not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If serious bodily injury occurred, the defendant faces not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If death of an individual results, the defendant faces life in federal prison.

Count 2: Creating a Counterfeit Controlled Substance, which is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine. If death or serious bodily injury results to an individual, Parker faces not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment.

Count 3: Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Deceit and Subterfuge, and aiding and abetting the same, is punishable by not more than 4 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.

These charges stem from Parker’s actions while employed at the medical facilities in Denver and Colorado Springs. Parker, who has tested positive for Hepatitis C, is alleged to have exchanged syringes she had previously used, filling the syringes with saline, for surgical needles filled with fentanyl, prior to a surgical procedure. As a result, an estimated 6000 surgical patients from the medical facilities may have been exposed to Hepatitis C, with nine patients already having tested positive for the virus.

Parker is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena. The investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tactical Diversion Unit , the Food and Drug Administration -- Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), the Denver Police Department, and the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Every defendant accused of committing a federal felony crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.