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Former Martin County nurse pleads guilty to swapping vials of liquid fentanyl with saline

Catherine Dunton, 54, faces up to 10 years in prison
Posted at 6:25 AM, Apr 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-14 14:09:00-04

MIAMI — A former Martin County nurse has pleaded guilty to tampering with vials of liquid fentanyl at an outpatient surgery center where she worked.

The Department of Justice made the announcement Thursday.

Catherine Dunton, 54, entered the guilty plea in a federal district court in Fort Pierce. She is charged with tampering with medical-grade fentanyl.

Federal prosecutors said Dunton was working as a nurse at a Martin County outpatient surgery center in Jensen Beach. While working at the center, Dunton took vials of fentanyl and self-administered it by injection.

According to an indictment, Dunton removed liquid fentanyl from nearly 450 vials, refilled them with saline and returned the tainted vials to their location for use during surgeries.

Dunton faces up to 10 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, the DOJ said in a press release.

Sentencing is set for June 27 at 10:30 a.m.