Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Former Moses Lake nurse sentenced for morphine theft

Staff Report | August 1, 2022 4:04 PM

SPOKANE — A Moses Lake woman was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after she was convicted of tampering with medications while on the job as a registered nurse.

Esther Ray Tuller, 41, was convicted of taking morphine from the supply at Confluence Health-Moses Lake Clinic and using the substance herself between August 2019 and April 2020, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Washington.

“Tuller used syringes to remove morphine from at least 17 vials, and then ingested the morphine as part of her own opioid addiction,” according to a press release from the USAO. “She then replaced the morphine with a saline solution, and attempted to glue the caps back onto the vials to make them appear intact.”

At least one Confluence Health patient had to seek emergency treatment after receiving one of the vials Tuller had emptied and refilled with saline solution, the press release said.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Group and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation.

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