ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A warrant has been issued for a now-former Presbyterian Hospital employee accused of swiping drugs on the job. And according to court documents, he tried to beat the system to pull off his scheme.
First, 30-year-old Eren Newland lost his job at Presbyterian Hospital. Now, he’s facing criminal charges. An arrest warrant was issued this week following a six-month investigation accusing the registered cardiovascular invasive specialist of taking the painkiller fentanyl.
Concerns were first raised back in July when staff noticed vials of the powerful opioid had been tampered with. The drugs are kept in machines that require personnel to input a user name and fingerprints, and records what substances are selected and by who.
According to court documents, in some cases, Newland would access the drugs and then cancel the transaction. That’s a red flag for staff because it shows excessive access to the machine.
Investigators say Newland was also recording dosage amounts in the 500 to 750 microgram range, which is enough to kill a patient. Security later found vials, needles and blood spots on the floor where he was seen by another employee.
In all, staff found 36 vials of fentanyl had been tampered with.
Newland was allegedly caught at the Downtown Presbyterian Hospital, but he’s accused of similar behavior while also working at Rust Medical Center. He is now facing a felony charge.
In a statement, Presbyterian Hospital says “Presbyterian notified state and federal authorities about this incident and the employee was terminated.” They go on to say, “all patient care related to the incident was reviewed and there is no indication that any patient was harmed.”