A paramedic with the Kansas City Fire Department faces federal drug charges after prosecutors said he stole fentanyl and morphine from ambulances, replacing the fentanyl with another substance.
According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, 36-year-old Michael L. Fostich of Kansas City, Missouri, faces one charge of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one charge of tampering with a consumer product.
The former paramedic who worked at Fire Station 18 put lives at risk, according to the indictment.
Court documents state Fostich worked for the department as a paramedic from August 2014 until December 11, 2016, noting that investigators believe he was engaged in a scheme to steal fentanyl and morphine starting in January 2016.
The indictment said that he would reseal the containers of the controlled substance and place them back into a narcotics box.
Prosecutors claim that Fostich reported being responsible for the use of 806 doses of fentanyl, which was about 39 percent of total use reported by the KCFD between January and December 2016.
Investigators said the paramedic also reported using 636 doses of morphine, which would be 63 percent of the department’s case in that timeframe.
He was arrested at his home on Thursday morning and faced a judge later in the day.
He was released on a "$5,000 unsecured appearance bond," but will be back in court next month.
The City of Kansas City, Missouri released the following statement: "KCFD has cooperated fully with federal authorities throughout the investigation.
When KCFD management became aware of suspicious behavior that appeared to violate established safety procedures and controls, they immediately notified law enforcement and asked for an investigation.
The paramedic was removed from patient care responsibilities and access to drugs and was placed on modified duty while the investigation was underway.The grand jury process is, by law, a closed matter and we have no information we can offer at this time other than what has been reported through law enforcement and judicial filings.
It is our policy to consistently and affirmatively cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation regarding our personnel and facilities. Where charges are brought, we follow these with independent investigations and process to determine appropriate actions respecting personnel and employment. While those investigations are underway, we must refrain from further comment other than to provide our assurance that appropriate actions will be taken as warranted by the findings."Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.