MA: Northboro nurse allegedly tampered with nursing home resident’s morphine

Telegram & Gazette News –

Rider allegedly removed some morphine sulfate prescribed to a dementia patient for pain relief and tampered with the remaining supply.

NORTHBORO — A registered nurse at Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center at Westboro was arrested Monday over allegedly tampering with morphine prescribed to a resident in her care.

Gwen Rider of Northboro was indicted on one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deception. Rider made an initial appearance at 3 p.m. Monday in federal court in Worcester.

Rider pleaded not guilty and has since been released on conditions, with an unsecured bond of $10,000. Her initial status conference is scheduled for May 14, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

According to the indictment, Rider was on-duty in a unit specializing in care for residents with dementia on Nov. 6 from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following morning. Rider allegedly removed some morphine sulfate prescribed to the dementia patient for pain relief and tampered with the remaining supply.

“Our organization is glad the U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking this seriously and investigating the matter,” said the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center at Westboro in a comment.

Rider has been indicted on one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deception.

If found guilty, Rider faces up to 14 years in prison for the combined charges, as well as up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for tampering with a consumer product and a fine of $250,000 for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deception.

Rider has been released and will appear in court May 14.

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