Nurse Accused of Taking Surplus Pain Medications While Employee at PH DuBois

DUBOIS – Felony drug charges have been filed against a Rockton man for allegedly taking surplus pain medications while employed at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Investigators say John R. Snider Jr., 42, a registered nurse, took liquid Fentanyl and Dilaudid on several occasions between July and October of 2018.

He was charged earlier this month by the attorney general’s office with felony acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation and misdemeanor counts of both furnishing false/fraudulent material info and intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not registered.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20 before District Judge Pat Ford in DuBois.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the hospital filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of State concerning possible diversion by Snider. They had noticed a high amount of the controlled substances were being pulled for patients compared to what the patients were actually prescribed.

In an interview with investigators on June 13, Snider told agents he had numerous hip surgeries over the last several years.

After surgery in 2017, he explained he was prescribed Percocet and then Vicodin for pain. After post-surgical problems, he was put on Oxycontin for 30 days.

He then continued with the Vicodin, which was supposed to help him wean himself off the Percocet.

He was unsuccessful before he finished the prescription and found himself needing something stronger for his pain, he told them.

As a working RN, he realized he had an opportunity to obtain stronger medications by accessing the “Sharps” container at work, he said.

He stated to the agents that excess liquid medications were often put in this container, which was not locked.

It was hospital policy to put the wasted drugs in the sink or garbage, but it was standard practice for the nurses to put these extra medications in the container.

These drugs were recorded as wasted by the nurses who dispensed the medication.

Snider reportedly told the agents that he would take the liquid medications available in the container, including medication he wasted, and draw up whatever was left into a syringe.

He admitted he would then take the syringe of the wasted medications home where he injected the drugs, according to the report.

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