Nurse at Charles City hospital indicted on drug diversion charges

CHARLES CITY — A Charles City nurse anesthetist has been indicted on allegations he siphoned opioid painkillers from the hospital stockroom for his own use.

Court records also allege Christopher Scott West chose an additional anesthesia method for a laparoscopic surgery patient at Floyd County Medical Center so he could use the patient’s leftover medication.

“The patient in the laparoscopic surgery suffered additional complications from the surgery and required additional time in the hospital,” according to the indictment, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

The six-page indictment charges West with consumer product tampering and acquiring a controlled substance by fraud. He also was charged with drug user in possession of firearms after authorities found he owned seven guns.

A court date for West has been scheduled for Thursday.

West, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, was licensed to practice in Iowa in 2009.

He began working for Floyd County Medical Center in 2017, and court records allege he began using his credentials to access fentanyl and sufentanil beginning in February 2018.

He allegedly tried to cover up his actions in a number of ways, including cutting the tamper-resistant seals of drug vials in the hospital storage room, removing up to 88 percent of the drug before replacing it with another liquid, court records state. He then glued the vials shut and returned them to storage.

This continued until Sept. 7, 2018, which was about the time of the laparoscopic surgery incident, records state.

The indictment alleges West possessed a 9 mm Hi-Point pistol, a .38-caliber Arminius revolver, a .17-caliber Ruger rifle, .22-caliber Remington rifle, a. 22-caliber Marlin rifle, a 7.62 mm Norinco SKS rifle and a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun.

National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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