A former Fort Bliss nurse accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C while stealing their pain medications during surgery has pleaded guilty to charges of assault and theft.

Jon Dale Jones, a retired Army captain, entered his plea Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors say Jones infected at least 15 military patients in 2004 when he diverted fentanyl — a powerful painkiller routinely used for anesthesia — from the patients to himself.

He could face up to 20 years when he sentenced in August.

Click here to learn how to protect yourself from exposure to infectious diseases in the hospital.