Woman convicted on drug charges

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Austin woman convicted of fifth-degree drug possession for tampering with morphine vials at her former local nursing home employer last October was sentenced to five years probation and fines in Mower County District Count Friday.

Sandra Jean Wagner, 56, must pay $500 of a $1,000 fine, abstain from alcohol and drugs, avoid contact with her former employer, seek and maintain employment and following drug treatment recommendations as part of her probation.

She is also prohibited from work that includes oversight of medications.

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According to the criminal complaint, police were dispatched to St. Mark’s Nursing Home after receiving a call from the director of nursing about possible morphine theft.

The director said that she’d found three vials with transparent tape across the top in efforts to disguise tampering, the complaint said. The vials had been signed for by the defendant Oct. 12.

The complaint said interviews with employees conflicted with Wagner’s account of vial inventory. Wagner would later admit to an addiction to the sleep aid Ambien, and then to tampering with a total of three morphine vials over Oct. 12 and 13, though she told police that she never injected the drugs, the complaint said.

Wagner was allegedly dismissed from a Hayfield-based nursing home facility for a similar incident earlier in her career.

She pleaded guilty to drug possession April 14 as part a plea agreement. A felony theft charge was dropped.