Former Ala. medic sentenced for tampering with 100+ fentanyl vials

Prosecutors said Michael Greenhaw, 43, put patients in danger when he stole the fentanyl and replaced it with saline


By Laura French

DECATUR, Ala. — A former Alabama paramedic was sentenced Tuesday for stealing from more than 100 vials of fentanyl and replacing their contents with saline. 

Michael Greenhaw, 43, was ordered by a federal judge to spend 51 months in prison after pleading guilty in October 2019 to one count of tampering with a consumer product, according to AL.com. Greenhaw, while working as a supervisory paramedic at First Response Ambulance Service, removed the contents of 129 fentanyl citrate vials for personal use and then refilled the vials with saline, according to a plea agreement. The thefts took place during Greenhaw's shifts between April and August 2018. 

Michael Greenhaw, 43, a former paramedic, was sentenced for tampering with more than 100 vials of fentanyl citrate.
Michael Greenhaw, 43, a former paramedic, was sentenced for tampering with more than 100 vials of fentanyl citrate. (Photo/MasterTux, Pixabay)

"Greenhaw put vulnerable patients in grave danger by replacing fentanyl citrate with saline in vials that he knew were intended to be administered to critically ill or injured patients," U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona said in a statement, according to AL.com. "Greenhaw's criminal conduct undermines the tireless efforts of first responders who work hard to make sure that patients receive the necessary emergency medical care." 

The case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office, the Decatur Police Department and the Arab Police Department, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell serving as lead prosecutor. 

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