Two Former Nurses Indicted in Connection to the Diversion of Dangerous Narcotics by Medical Professionals
CONCORD, N.H. – A Newbury woman and Northfield woman, two former nurses, were indicted in connection to the diversion of dangerous narcotics by medical professionals, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.
Robin Nichols, 63, of Newbury, was indicted on one count of Tampering with Consumer Products and one count of Obtaining a Controlled Drug by Misrepresentation, Fraud, Deception, or Subterfuge.
Lisa Richardson, 47, of Northfield, was indicted on one count of Tampering with Consumer Products and one count of Obtaining a Controlled Drug by Misrepresentation, Fraud, Deception, or Subterfuge.
According to the charging documents related to Robin Nichols, on April 15, 2023, while working as a nurse at Catholic Medical Center, Nichols removed a quantity of fentanyl, a narcotic painkiller drug in liquid form, from a syringe intended for an operating room patient and which she knew was intended for that patient and replaced the fentanyl with a quantity of saline.
According to the charging documents related to Lisa Richardson, on December 30, 2022, while working as a nurse at Concord Hospital, Richardson entered the room of a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (“ICU”) and removed a quantity of fentanyl, a narcotic painkiller drug in liquid form, from an intravenous line bag attached to the patient and which she knew was being dispensed to that patient, and replaced the fentanyl with a quantity of saline.
Nichols and Richardson’s charges of tampering with a consumer product provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of obtaining a controlled drug by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or subterfuge provides for a sentence of up to 4 years in prison, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $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.
The Food & Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration jointly led these investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Ward is prosecuting the cases.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Law enforcement in the District of New Hampshire has utilized resources to enforce federal laws in connection to the diversion of dangerous narcotics by medical professionals. In June 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office settled a $2 million civil action with Cheshire Medical Center for their failure to fulfill obligations under the Controlled Substances Act, which enabled a nurse to steal twenty-three intravenous bags of fentanyl solution from an automatic medication dispensing machine. Also in June 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office settled a $300,000 civil action with PillPack by Amazon, a pharmacy, to resolve allegations that they violated the Controlled Substances Act, which risked the division of drugs that are often abused in our communities.