Rocky Allen, surgical tech who switched syringes at Swedish Medical Center, sentenced to 78 months in prison

Rocky Allen, a former surgical technician at Englewood, Colo.-based Swedish Medical Center who admitted to swapping syringes used at the facility, was sentenced to 78 months in prison, according to KHOU.com.

Mr. Allen pleaded guilty to two federal charges of drug theft in June. He was arrested in February after an employee at the medical center caught Mr. Allen stealing a syringe filled with fentanyl and replacing it with one filled with saline solution.

The incident spurred hospital officials to offer free HIV and hepatitis B and C testing to nearly 3,000 patients who were exposed to the compromised syringes. The incident also prompted hospitals in several other states that had previously employed Mr. Allen to inform patients of possible infection risk.

Hospital officials said no patients have reported infections, according to the article.

During the five hour hearing, the judge called Mr. Allen a compulsive liar. Mr. Allen admitted he deserved prison time and apologized for the trouble his actions caused, according to the article. Mr. Allen recounted past sexual abuse and said he wanted to be voice for other addicts.

Mr. Allen has 15 days to voluntarily turn himself in and begin his prison sentence. He will not be required to pay a fine, according to the article.

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