Former Roanoke County EMS worker pleads guilty to tampering with fentanyl, hydromorphone

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – A former emergency medical services (EMS) worker for Roanoke County EMS pleaded guilty to tampering with vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone on Tuesday in Roanoke’s U.S. District Court, officials say.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, March 24 by the Department of Justice, 31-year-old Jeffery Leedy pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product (fentanyl and  hydromorphone) that affects interstate commerce with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury.

At his sentencing, officials say Leedy potentially faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

“When Leedy tampered with fentanyl and hydromorphone, he put patients’ care at risk, violated the trust we place in our health care workers, and committed a serious crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Bubar on Wednesday.  “I applaud the good work carried out by FDA and the Virginia State Police to ensure the public receives unadulterated medication.” 

According to court documents, Leedy tampered with at least 50 vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone from November 2018 to June 2019 while working at Lynchburg General Hospital and as an EMS worker for Roanoke County EMS.

The DOJ says a Roanoke City EMS ambulance crew member discovered a suspected tampered vial of fentanyl while on an EMS call in May 2019 after trying to administer the vial to a patient and noticing the cap was not secured. Additional investigation reportedly revealed Leedy had tampered with the vial by removing the fentanyl and replacing it with saline.

After a supervisor with Roanoke County EMS queried the access card database, the department says that supervisor determined Leedy had been accessing the rescue squad building at night — while he was not working — to take the fentanyl.

In addition, further investigation determined at least 50 vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone had been tampered with, according to officials.

The case — which was investigated by the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations and Virginia State Police — is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Ramseyer, the DOJ says.

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