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Fla. paramedic admits to medication tampering, theft

The Suwannee County Fire Rescue paramedic has been charged with controlled substance possession and grand theft


By Laura French

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida paramedic faces criminal charges after reportedly admitting to tampering with dozens of vials of pain medication on ambulances.

Suwannee County Fire Rescue Paramedic James Johnson told investigators he had stolen from 41 morphine vials, 15 hydromorphone vials and 15 fentanyl vials and replaced the medications with saline, according to the Miami Herald.

Johnson was arrested on March 31 and charged with controlled substance possession and grand theft. An emergency restriction order was issued by the Florida Department of Health last week, barring Johnson from working as a paramedic unless he is later deemed safe for work by the Florida Professional Resource Network.

Officials said Johnson admitted that he had been stealing and replacing medications from multiple ambulances for about a year.

The missing medications were discovered when another paramedic was about to administer morphine to a patient and noticed the vial had been tampered with.