Case Style: United States of America v. Sarah Elizabeth Martin
Case Number: 3:15-cr-01394-JLS
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of California (San Diego County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Melanie K Pierson
Defendant's Attorney: Robert L Grimes and Dana M. Grimes
Description: San Diego, CA - Nurse Sentenced For Adulterating Drugs
Sarah Elizabeth Martin, a registered nurse from San Diego, was sentenced to three years of probation, a $1,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution and complete a six-month residential drug rehabilitation program for removing Meperidine Hydrochloride (a generic form of Demerol®) from vials at the clinic where she worked in La Jolla with a syringe and replacing them with saline solution.
In order to conceal the adulteration, Martin glued the caps back on the vials and placed them back in the locker at the clinic with the other drugs to be administered to patients, intending to make it appear that the vials were untouched. Although the adulterated drugs were administered to between 50-250 patients at the clinic, based on the investigation, there is no evidence that Martin’s conduct led to the harm of any patient, or involved a conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury.
At sentencing, Martin acknowledged that as a result of receiving treatment for a medical condition, she developed an addiction to pain medication, and began injecting herself with the generic Demerol® she had taken from the clinic.
“Consumers and especially patients rely on FDA to ensure that the prescription drugs they take are safe and effective; when actions compromise either the safety or the effectiveness of those medications, we will intervene,” said Lisa L. Malinowski, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Los Angeles Field Office. “We will continue our vigilance and work to ensure that those who violate the public’s trust and endanger the public health will be brought to justice.”
Outcome: See above