VA: Former Roanoke-Area EMS Worker Pleads Guilty to Tampering with Fentanyl and Hydromorphone

DOJ Press Release –

Investigation revealed at least 50 vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone had been tampered with by removing the fentanyl or hydromorphone and replacing it with saline

ROANOKE, Va. – Jeffery Leedy, a former emergency medical services worker for Roanoke County Emergency Medical Services, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke to tampering with vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced.

Leedy, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product (fentanyl and hydromorphone) that affects interstate commerce with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury. At sentencing, Leedy faces a maximum possible sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

“When Leedy tampered with fentanyl and hydromorphone, he put patients’ care at risk, violated the trust we place in our health care workers, and committed a serious crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar today. “I applaud the good work carried out by FDA and the Virginia State Police to ensure the public receives unadulterated medication.”

According to court documents, from November 2018 to June 2019, Leedy tampered with at least 50 vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone while working at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital and as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) worker for Roanoke County Emergency Medical Services.

On May 16, 2019, a Roanoke City EMS ambulance crew member discovered a suspected tampered vial of fentanyl while on an EMS call. When he attempted to administer the vial to a patient, he noticed the cap was not secured and believed the vial has been tampered with. Further investigation revealed that Leedy had tampered with the vial by removing the fentanyl and replacing it with saline.

A supervisor with the Roanoke County EMS queried the access card database and determined that Leedy had been accessing the rescue squad building at night, while he was not working, to take the fentanyl. Further investigation revealed at least 50 vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone had been tampered with.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations and Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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