DENVER — A former nurse will spend more than three years in federal prison for stealing Fentanyl meant for Parker Adventist Hospital patients in the Intensive Care Unit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Jessica Sharman, 36, stole Fentanyl from an automated narcotic medication dispensing device — called a Pyxis machine — by accessing it and then canceling the transaction and returning the drug, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It's meant for pain management for cancer patients.

Sharman, who was 35 at the time, told Parker Adventist employees that she would use a sterile syringe and saline flushes to withdraw the drug from the cassettes, and would sometimes replace the Fentanyl with saline by injecting it back into the cassette and returning the cassette back into the machine, the U.S. Attorney said.

Sharman tested positive for the use of Fentanyl and was fired on April 26, 2018, the U.S. Attorney said. 

Sharman pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product in June. She was sentenced to 44 months in prison on Wednesday.

Parker Adventist Hospital is located in Douglas County.

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