Kan. EMT avoids prison time on morphine theft conviction

Colby W. VanWagoner admitted in his plea to tampering with vials of morphine sulfate, replacing the morphine with saline solution


Tim Hrenchir
The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.

A former Jackson County emergency medical technician was sentenced Tuesday to five years of federal probation for stealing morphine.

Colby W. VanWagoner, 33, of Mayetta, had pleaded guilty to one count each of obtaining a controlled substance by deception and making a false statement during an investigation, said U.S. Attorney for Kansas Stephen McAllister.

Conditions of Colby W. VanWagoner's supervised release require VanWagoner to complete an approved substance abuse program and not engage in any occupation that would give him access to controlled substances without previous approval from his probation officer. (Photo/WikiMedia Commons)
Conditions of Colby W. VanWagoner's supervised release require VanWagoner to complete an approved substance abuse program and not engage in any occupation that would give him access to controlled substances without previous approval from his probation officer. (Photo/WikiMedia Commons)

Conditions of his supervised release require VanWagoner to complete an approved substance abuse program and not engage in any occupation that would give him access to controlled substances without previous approval from his probation officer, said Jim Cross, spokesman for McAllister's office.

VanWagoner committed the crimes while working for Jackson County Emergency Medical Services in Holton, Cross said.

He said VanWagoner admitted in his plea to tampering with vials of morphine sulfate, replacing the morphine with saline solution and putting the vials back into narcotics boxes on ambulances and in office stocks.

Tests showed the concentration of morphine in vials that had been tampered with was as low as less than 1 percent, Cross said. The concentration of morphine should have been 100 percent, he said.

The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration's office of criminal investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett.

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©2019 The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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