Former area EMS, hospital worker pleads guilty to tampering with fentanyl

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:12 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -A former Roanoke County EMS worker pleaded guilty Tuesday to tampering with vials of fentanyl and hydromorphone.

31-year-old Jeffrey Leedy pleaded guilty in a Roanoke U.S. District Court to one count of tampering with a consumer product that affects interstate commerce with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury. He faces a maximum possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, along with 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 Daniel Bubar. “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, Leedy tampered with at least 50 vials while working at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital and as an EMS worker for Roanoke County Emergency Medical Services between November 2018 and June 2019.

In May 2019, the Department of Justice said a Roanoke City EMS ambulance worker attempted to administer a vial of fentanyl to a patient when the worker noticed the cap was not secure, leading the individual to believe it had been tampered with.

Further investigation revealed Leedy had been removing fentanyl from the vials and replacing it with saline. Upon checking the access card system, a supervisor with the Roanoke County EMS discovered Leedy had been accessing the rescue squad building at night, while he was off duty.

The investigation was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations and Virginia State Police.

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