2/16/16 UPDATE – The surgical technician accused of stealing a powerful narcotic drug whose actions prompted wide-scale testing of Swedish Medical Center patients for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C has been arrested, officials said Tuesday.Rocky Allen is in federal custody after a grand jury indictment, according to the Department of Justice.

The former surgical tech is in custody on charges of tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit, according to a U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado news release.The indictment says that Allen tampered and attempted to tamper with a syringe containing fentanyl Citrate by removing the syringe containing the substance and replacing it with a similar syringe containing “other substances.”

Allen faces one count of tampering with a consumer product that could put him in federal prison for 10 years with up to a $250,000 fine if found guilty. Allen also faces one count of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit and subterfuge which could land him in prison for four years with a $250,000 fine if convicted.

The criminal investigation on this case remains ongoing. Allen will appear in court this afternoon.The Swedish Medical Center scandal is no longer a regional affair. Though the Englewood Police Department began a criminal investigation of the alleged theft by Rocky Allen, a 28-year-old operating room employee, of fentanyl, it has now been handed over to federal officials in the Food and Drug Administration.


 

Late yesterday, the Englewood department made a statement that federal investigators have taken over the criminal inquiry into the alleged theft of fentanyl from Swedish Medical Center by the surgical technologist.  David Jessen, a master patrol officer speaking for the department, offered no details about what his department may have found and referred questions to Swedish.

Allen was dismissed in January after a fellow worker reported seeing him take a syringe of fentanyl at the start of a surgery.  That led hospital officials to ask about 2,900 patients last week to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Allen worked in operating rooms at the hospital from Aug. 17 to Jan. 22. The hospital offered free blood tests to anyone who had surgery there at that time.  For background information, see Surgical Tech Possibly Exposed Hundreds to HIV and Hepatitis.