LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County deputies arrested Jessica Bramble, 24 of Port Charlotte for stealing liquid narcotics and replacing them with sterile water, which working as a pharmacy technician at Health Park.
The allegations date back to December of 2011.
Bramble is facing charges of adulterating a drug for distribution, posession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and grand theft of a controlled substance.
She was released on bond Thursday afternoon.
The medication dispensing system at Health Park and Gulf Coast Hospitals, where she worked, maintains an electronic database that stores the identity of the user, via fingerprint. Bramble had to use her finger I.D. in order to dispense the narcotics. Three nurses corroborated some of the allegations against Bramble.
According to her arrest report, Bramble explained that she replaced the narcotics with sterile water from vials around the hospital, often in the bathroom on her way to do refills.
Bramble told investigators she didn't steal the drugs for herself, but for a family member who had both a medical condition and drug addiction.
Lee Memorial issued this statement on the arrest:
Lee Memorial Health System expects the best behavior from our employees. Thanks to a highly visible patient safety program, the individual’s activity was immediately flagged. We quickly launched an investigation, and did not find any patients who were impacted by the individuals alleged drug activity. Following the investigation we conducted a comprehensive review of our handling of controlled substances to make sure that our rigorous procedures are always followed. The individual in this case has been arrested and we are cooperating fully with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.
Bramble is accused of more than 40 instances of stolen drugs from 2011-2012. Investigators say she admitted to similar thefts at Gulf Coast Medical Center, though the number of instances is unknown.
Lee Memorial Health System has filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health, but as of 5:30 Thursday, Bramble's license was still active.