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Former Missoula nurse sentenced on felony diversion of drug charges

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 22, 2023

MISSOULA - A former Missoula nurse who admitted to diverting opioid drugs while working at St. Patrick Hospital has been sentenced to three years of probation.

According to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, Caitlin Ashley Evans, 37, pleaded guilty in November 2022 to obtaining controlled substances by fraud, deception and subterfuge.

The government alleged in court documents that in October 2021, a St. Patrick Hospital official reviewed drug distribution data and discovered that Evans was ordering opiates — including oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl — at much higher rates and in greater amounts than her peers.

Another nurse also reported suspicious activity by Evans to her supervisor.

Hospital administrators spoke with Evans, who admitted to diverting drugs from the hospital while working since the fall of 2020. Evans explained that she had been taking waste amounts of hydromorphone and morphine two to three times a week by exchanging the drugs for saline before disposing of them.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.