Radford nurse pleads guilty to tampering with product intended for nursing home patients

Woman faces up to 51 months in prison, fine up to $250,000

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ABINGDON, Va. – A Radford woman has pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product intended for use by nursing home patients. 

The U.S attorney's office for the Western District of Virginia said 40-year-old Christina Calloway was working as a nurse in a nursing home when she diverted liquid morphine intended for patients for her own use. 

Calloway took liquid morphine from a bottle multiple times and used it herself. Officials said she used tap water to refill the bottles in an attempt to hide her crime. 

The diluted morphine was given to patients.

“This defendant undoubtedly inflicted suffering on helpless elderly nursing home residents to feed her addiction,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle. “We will aggressively prosecute defendants who callously abuse their positions of trust to victimize the most vulnerable members of our society.”

“FDA oversees the U.S. supply of medicines to ensure that they are safe and effective, and those who knowingly tamper with medicines for patients put their health at risk,” said Mark S. McCormack, special agent in charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington field office. “Our office will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who violate laws designed to protect the public health.”

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones scheduled a sentencing hearing for 10:30 a.m. Aug.1 in Abingdon. 

Calloway faces up to 51 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.