Published: May 11, 2012 7:17 PM EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A former Jacksonville radiology technician has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing syringes of painkillers during patients' procedures and replacing them with syringes of saline contaminated with Hepatitis C.
    
The U.S. Attorney's office said Friday that 48-year-old Steven Beumel tampered with the syringes from 2006 through 2008 while working at the Mayo Clinic branch in Jacksonville.
    
Epidemiologists from the hospital and public health agencies worked for more than three years to solve the Hepatitis C outbreak and it was eventually linked to Beumel. He was fired and clinic authorities reported him to police.
    
The clinic tested thousands of patients who were potentially at risk. Two patients from that testing effort were linked to Beumel and one died.

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