IMAGE: Eric Stanke

A paramedic working for a private ambulance company in Genesee County is facing charges after allegedly using pain medication for himself.

Sheriff Robert Pickell said Eric Stanke, a 34-year-old man from Genesee County, has been a licensed paramedic with MMR for five years.

Officials began their investigation when they were alerted by a pharmacy director at McLaren Regional Hospital.

The director noticed a morphine vile was tampered with and the plastic cap was resealed with a sticky substance, later identified as super glue.

The Medical Control Authority then requested an audit of all of the drug boxes by the hospitals, including Hurley, Ascension, and McLaren.

Pickell said it was learned that several boxes were tampered with and there were at least 90 incidents where vials were tampered with, including missing morphine or fentanyl.

In all of these incidents, the vials were replaced with a saline solution, the sheriff said.

Pickell said Stanke responded to a woman who broke her tibia and instead of giving her 10 milligrams, he gave her four milligrams, leaving her in pain. He allegedly used the remaining six milligrams for himself.

Stanke was also called to a man who was dead on arrival. Pickell said Stanke noticed the deceased man had capsules of morphine on his bedside and took them.

"He stole the capsules from a dead man to use for his own personal addiction," Pickell said.

In all incidents that were investigated, Pickell said Stanke would use the morphine and replace the vials with a saline solution and cap the vile with super glue.

He has been charged with possession of morphine less than 25 grams, larceny in a building, obtaining by fraud a controlled substance, and controlled substance violation.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating to find if Stanke committed more violations.

Pickell said he believes these thefts have occurred over one year and happened in Genesee and Saginaw counties.

Stanke recently became a registered nurse, but Pickell ensured that Stanke would lose his license.

Stanke has been placed on administrative leave.

MMR released the following statement:

"An employee of Mobile Medical Response was recently placed on administrative leave. MMR has been fully cooperating with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Genesee County Medical Control Authority since the beginning of their investigation. At this time there are no further details that MMR is able to release or provide comment."

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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