Eric Stanke, 34, of Clio is facing four felony charges following an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
Stanke, a paramedic and ambulance driver with MMR (Mobile Medical Response), allegedly
stole morphine and fentanyl, which were prescribed for patients and kept the drugs for his own personal use.
During a televised press conference Monday, Aug. 12, Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said there were a number of boxes of vials that showed signs of tampering and in total, there were approximately 90 incidents of tampering.
Pickell said tests were done on the suspected tampered vials and results showed the morphine and fentanyl were replaced with a saline solution.
One incident, according to the sheriff, was when a woman did not receive the adequate amount of prescribed morphine even though she was in considerable pain. He said another incident involved the theft of morphine capsules, which were bedside of a male patient who had died at his home.
Several agencies helped with the investigation, including the state’s Medical Control Authorities, the sheriff’s office and McLaren Flint.
Stanke was arraigned Aug. 9 on one count of possession of morphine less than 25 grams, a four-year felony; larceny from a building, a four-year felony; and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a four-year felony/$30,000 fine.
The sheriff said their investigation revealed that Stanke’s fingerprints were on the vials and it appeared that after the controlled substances were removed and the saline solution was added, a substance similar to super glue was used to put the vials back together.
“We’re continuing to look for other violations,” Pickell said. “He came into this business to help others but ended up doing harm. His addiction is severe.”
Pickell said Stanke had been with MMR for about five years and the alleged crimes took place in the past year. Stanke is also a registered nurse. His professional licenses could be impacted.
The sheriff said the Medical Control Authority reacted quickly as well as the pharmacies involved. “I’m confident it’s not a widespread issue,” he said. STAT EMS is generally the company that responds to the Fenton area.
Fenton Fire Chief Bob Cairnduff said, “MMR responds to the entire county of Genesee. We have used them a couple times over the last couple years but 99 percent of the time we use STAT EMS in the city.”
Fenton Township Fire Chief Ryan Volz said MMR has responded to a few calls toward the north end of the township, but he is not familiar with their employees since they do not always send the same crews.
Stanke was released on $30,000 personal bond. A probable cause conference is scheduled for Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. in Genesee County 67th District Court.