Surgical technician Rocky Allen to plead guilty to drug theft

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

Rocky Allen, the former surgical technician charged with stealing fentanyl from Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colo., intends to plead guilty to federal drug theft charges, according to The Denver Post.

In January, Swedish Medical Center fired Mr. Allen after he was witnessed stealing a syringe filled with fentanyl and replacing it with one filled with saline solution. The needle-swapping incident spurred the hospital to offer nearly 3,000 patients free testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C. The incident also incited several other hospitals in Arizona, California and Washington that formerly employed Mr. Allen to warn patients of possible infection risk.

According to the Post, court testimony has also revealed that Mr. Allen was court-martialed in 2011 for the theft of fentanyl while enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Mr. Allen's public defender, Timothy O'Hara, argued in court that Mr. Allen's drug addiction was inspired by his experiences in Afghanistan.

Mr. Allen has been revealed to be HIV positive, but federal prosecutors have revealed that no transmissions of HIV or hepatitis B or C to patients have been reported.

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