Former Utah nurse found guilty of obtaining and tampering with hospital pain killers

Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 15:36:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A Sandy man was found guilty by a federal jury of taking pain killers from a hospital he worked at, and tampering with drugs used to treat patients.

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While working at an Intermountain Healthcare facility in the surgical and trauma ward, Nathan Pehrson, 41, would take the opioid hydromorphone from pre-loaded syringes for his personal use. He then replaced the drug with saline solution, which reduced the amount of the real pain killer to be used by hospital staff for patients.

Pehrson was also convicted of "making false statements to a special agent from the Food and Drug Administration about his illegal activity while under investigation for his crimes," according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

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"The opioid epidemic has many faces, and no one is immune from the problems that we face in society with drug addiction. I commend the hospital staff who reported the defendant’s illegal activity to federal law enforcement,” said Acting United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez.