Drugs

Mississippi nurse arrested for alleged opioid embezzlement

A registered nurse who works at a Jackson, Mississippi metro area hospital has been arrested and charged with drug embezzlement.

Jeremy David Duke, 32, surrendered his nursing license as a result of the charge, according to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

“This is one of many cases that probably will be resulting in arrests based on our efforts to crack down on the diversion of pharmaceuticals in the state of Mississippi,” MBN Director John Dowdy told Fox News. He says this arrest is part of an effort to tackle the growing opioid problem in the Magnolia State.

According to Dowdy, Duke is suspected of diverting morphine and Dilaudid, which is a brand name for hydromorphine. The case is still under investigation and Duke may face additional charges.

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux said his agency will not tolerate medical professionals who break the law.

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“The arrest of Mr. Duke by DEA and MBN speaks to the seriousness of the growing opioid crisis in this country,” Comeaux said in a news release. “No longer will drug dealers, cloaked in lab coats, be able to hide behind the title of claiming to be a medical professional, while pushing this poison into our communities.”

In a separate case, MBN and DEA officials announced the arrest of two nurses for alleged crimes involving prescription drug diversion in Mississippi last week. Officials also say that two doctors forfeited their DEA licenses and a pharmacy faces civil action for alleged abuse surrounding the prescribing of prescription drugs.

Willie James Inman is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow him on twitter: @WillieJames