One of the fastest growing areas of prosecution is what is commonly referred to as drug diversion. If a medical care provider either issues medication outside of accepted medical standards or if the provider diverts the medication away from the proper recipient, the provider may be charged with violating federal drug laws pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 841, and the penalties can be severe, including the possibility of life imprisonment.
Jonesborough, Tennessee resident Sharon Minns Kyker, who previously worked as a registered nurse at the James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, pled guilty earlier this year to obtaining controlled substances by fraud, deception, and subterfuge by means of falsely documenting having provided a dose to a patient. According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Kyker admitted to diverting a quantity of hydromorphone (aka Dilaudid) by falsely claiming that he had provided the medication to a patient.
Earlier this month, Kyker was fortunate to receive a sentence of three years of probation, during which time she must participate in mental health and substance abuse treatment, may not possess occupations with access to patient medications, and must complete 50 hours of community service.