Former Virginia Nurse Pleads Guilty To Fraudulently Obtaining Fentanyl


The Allegiant Experts Blog has long exposed the many dangers associated with opioids. Our nation’s opioid crisis rages on due to widespread addictions to such drugs as fentanyl. As described by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine.


“Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin,” explains the DEA’s website, “Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths.”


Fentanyl goes by many different street names.


Among them, reveals the DEA, are Apace, China Girl, China Town, China White, Dance Fever, Goodfellas, Great Bear, He-Man, Poison and Tango & Cash. The drug is known to produce intense, short-term highs that are likened to temporary feelings of euphoria. Slowed respiration, reduced blood pressure, nausea, fainting, seizures and death are common side effects of using fentanyl.


“Similar to other opioid analgesics, Fentanyl produces effects such as: relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression,” the DEA details.


Former nurse pleads guilty to fraudulently obtaining fenanyl.


As reported by the Western District of Virginia branch of the United States Department of Justice, 36 year-old, Angelica Franklin has pled guilty to obtaining controlled substances by fraud. The drugs include hydromorphone and fentanyl. Franklin formerly worked as a nurse at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital (SMJH) in Charlottesville.


While working in the Emergency Department at the hospital, she knowingly obtained controlled substances by misrepresentation by fraud, forgery or deception. Franklin began her stint at SMJH on August 16, 2021. In September, she began intentionally entering fraudulent verbal orders for fentanyl and hydromorphone into the SMJH electronic medical records system. She placed the orders on behalf of physicians who did not issue them verbally.


Franklin obtained a number of controlled substances.


Retrieving the drugs from the SMJH automated dispensing cabinet, Franklin did not administer the controlled substances to any patients. She also admitted to unlawfully obtaining controlled substances including oxycodone and alprazolam while working as a nurse at three different Richmond-area health care facilities: Stony Point Surgery Center, Vibra Hospital and The Laurels of Willow Creek.


“In total, across all facilities, Franklin unlawfully obtained approximately 4,450 mcg of fentanyl, 80 mg of hydromorphone, 3,600 mg of oxycodone, and 14 mg of alprazolam,” reports the DoJ, “Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced on November 10, 2022 and faces a maximum penalty of four years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”


Are you an attorney working on a fraud case?


Allegiant Experts can help you! Everything we do focuses on inclusive, comprehensive, cost-effective health care. Among our many services, we coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.

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