Nurse Arrested for Stealing Drugs From Pocopson Nursing Home

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of defendant Carolyn Howett. The defendant was a nurse at the Pocopson Home, a nursing home located in Chester County. The defendant used her position as a nurse to steal morphine and other drugs from Pocopson Home. The drugs were marked as destroyed by the defendant, but the police later located these drugs in the defendant’s home. The drugs still had unique identification from Pocopson Home when they were recovered in the defendant’s home. District Attorney Hogan stated, “Nursing is a noble profession, dedicated to caring for sick and disabled patients. This defendant betrayed her profession, her employer, and her patients by stealing drugs. She does not deserve to serve as a nurse ever again.” The defendant is 36 years old. She resides at 1909 Saginaw Drive, Coatesville, Chester County, PA. The allegations of the criminal complaint are as follows: 1 1 A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Pocopson Home is a nursing home, owned and operated by Chester County. Pocopson Home serves many elderly patients, including patients who are end-stage cancer sufferers and others in extreme pain. As a result, the nurses at Pocopson Home regularly administer and dispose of powerful narcotics, such as morphine. The defendant was a licensed practical nurse at Pocopson Home, employed there for 15 years. In 2015, administrators at Pocopson Home began to notice that morphine and other drugs were missing. The Chester County Detectives were called in to investigate. A search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence. Police located a vial of morphine, 26 Zolpidem pills, and other drug-related materials in the defendant’s bedroom. The vial of morphine still contained a lot number, serial number, and prescription date. The police traced that morphine back to a prescription for a patient at Pocopson Home. That patient had been under the defendant’s care and supervision. When the patient died, Pocopson Home records showed that the vial of morphine and 26 Zolpidem pills were marked as “destroyed” by the defendant, using a password protected electronic system. Shortly after the police contacted the defendant about the missing drugs, she quit her position with Pocopson Home. The defendant has been charged with theft, acquisition of controlled substances by fraud, forgery, and related offenses. She was arrested today by Chester County Detectives. District Attorney Hogan added, “All over the region, people are overdosing and dying from opiate abuse. The last thing we need is a licensed nurse stealing morphine from a nursing home and adding to this ever-growing problem.” This case was investigated by the Chester County Detectives. Assistant District Attorney Basil Joy has been assigned to prosecute the case. Anybody with any information should contact Chester County Detective Edward Nolan at 610- 344-5660


CCDA Release 07/28/2015

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