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Mason City man sentenced for stealing pain pills

Took drugs from patients in Franklin County.

Posted: Feb. 13, 2019 7:17 PM

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A North Iowa man is going to federal prison for stealing pain medicine meant for patients.

James Allen Moorehead of Mason City pleaded guilty to acquiring drugs through fraud, making false statements related to health care matters, and aggravated identity theft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa says while Moorhead worked as an ER nurse at Franklin General Hospital from March 2012 to March 2017, he used patient identities to obtain hydrocodone.

Prosecutors say Moorehead would access the hospital’s computer system and divert pain pills meant for patients to himself. Moorehead then falsified medical records that the drugs had been given to the patients when what they really received was merely Tylenol.

Moorehead was sentenced Wednesday to three years behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay a $20,000 fine.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Moorehead lost his nursing license in 2008 for stealing opioids from Genesis Health Center and North Iowa Mercy health Center. Moorehead regained his nursing license in 2011.

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