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Police Briefs 7/28/22

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 7/27/22

Middleburg nurse sentenced for swapping fentanyl with saline

JACKSONVILLE – Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Monique Elizabeth Carter, 36, of Middleburg, to one year and …

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Police Briefs 7/28/22


Middleburg nurse sentenced for swapping fentanyl with saline

JACKSONVILLE – Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Monique Elizabeth Carter, 36, of Middleburg, to one year and one day in federal prison for tampering with a consumer product, specifically, injectable fentanyl. The court further ordered that after serving her prison sentence, Carter will serve one year of home detention as a condition of a two-year term of supervised release. During this time, Carter will also be prohibited from working in any position in which she would have access to prescribed medications. Carter pleaded guilty on April 13.
According to court documents, Carter is a registered nurse who had previously been employed by a hospital in Jacksonville. She worked in a neural intensive care unit or ICU, which is a specialized unit that provides intensive and specialized care to critically ill patients with life-threatening neurological problems. Certain ICU patients were prescribed intravenous doses of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used as a pain medication and as anesthesia.
After Carter’s shift on Sept. 28, 2021, a hospital pharmacist examined the ICU wing’s inventory of fentanyl and found a fentanyl syringe with a tamper-proof cap missing, but with some form of foreign adhesive remaining at the tip. A second fentanyl syringe had a cap that appeared to have been glued back on. After reviewing hospital records, a pharmacist supervisor noted a pattern of Carter checking out doses of fentanyl for patients, but then canceling the transactions and checking syringes back into the hospital’s inventory. Records showed that Carter did so 24 times between Aug. 29 and Sept. 28, 2021. Carter was the only nurse on her ICU wing who persistently checked out fentanyl and returned it to the hospital’s inventory.
The next day, when Carter arrived for work, hospital representatives interviewed her. Confronted with the pharmacists’ findings, Carter eventually admitted that – to obtain drugs for personal use at home – she had been removing injectable fentanyl from syringes, replacing the drug with saline, and then gluing the plastic tampering caps back on the syringes with an adhesive that she obtained from the hospital. She admitted that she had been tampering with fentanyl syringes since the summer of 2021.
Carter denied injecting fentanyl while on duty at the hospital, but in her bag, law enforcement investigators later located needles, saline syringes, and adhesive.
Carter is a trained healthcare professional and knew that her activities likely resulted in critically ill patients receiving diluted fentanyl, which was not safe and effective. Having been deprived of sterile, medically necessary medication, such patients were exposed to possible infection and endured unnecessary pain and suffering.
In addition, Carter knew that the failure to anesthetize or control pain in ICU patients can result in increased risks of illness or death, stemming from, among other things, respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal complications.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office – Pharmaceutical Diversion and Designer Drug Unit attached to the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. It was prosecuted by the Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Coolican.

Woman arrested for DUI back in jail after violating probation conditions

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A 24-year-old woman turned herself in at the Clay County Jail on July 20 after she violated conditions of her probation after being arrested for driving under the influence on July 7 on County Road 220.
Tayler Arrington Harber, of Middleburg, will remain in the jail without bond after she left Mercury Moon near 1 a.m. A Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on proactive DUI patrol when he saw Harber’s truck failing to “maintain a single lane crossing both the center lane divider and fog lines several times.”
Her blood alcohol level was measured at .163 and .149 at the jail. The legal limit in Florida is .08.
Harber was on probation after she was found guilty of armed robbery on May 11, 2017, after a man was hit in the head with a handgun during a drug purchase in an apartment on Wells Road. She was sentenced to two years in prison and four years of probation.

Man arrested for drugs after trying to run from CCSO on a bicycle

ORANGE PARK – A man who store security said was shoplifting was caught after trying to run from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on a bicycle.
In the process, Cody Matthew Haynes, 26, of Middleburg, was charged on July 21 with possession of fentanyl and drug paraphernalia, as well as resisting arrest. Deputies also found a set of brass knuckles.
According to the arrest report, deputies caught Haynes on William Penn Street after he abandoned his bike behind a fast food restaurant on Blanding Boulevard.
The fentanyl, five syringes, two scales, brass knuckles and stolen clothes were found in his backpack. The clothes were returned to the department store, but the store manager said she wasn’t allowed to press charges or turn over surveillance footage, according to CCSO.
Haynes’ bond was set at $12,259.

Man caught driving with suspended license for sixth time during DUI stop

ORANGE PARK – An alert resident helped the Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrest a man who was believed to be driving under the influence after he ran over a traffic sign while he drove home.
Jamie Lee Buckley, 43, of Orange Park, was charged with DUI with property damage, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and driving with a suspended license after the resident provided a description of Buckley’s truck, as well as the license tag number.
Deputies found Buckley still sitting in the driver’s seat in his driveway. According to the arrest report, he started to fall when he tried to get out of his truck. His blood alcohol level was measured at .198 and .189 – more than twice the legal limit – at the Clay County Jail.
A search of Buckley driving record revealed he was found guilty of driving with a suspended license on five other occasions – four in Duval County and once in Clay.