A Billings nurse has been indicted on federal charges accusing her of replacing hydrocodone with a common pain reliever and giving the less potent drug to a patient.
Sheila Marie White removed an unstated number of hydrocodone pills from their packaging and replaced them with generic acetaminophen, which was given to a patient, according to the indictment.
White’s registered nurse license with the state of Montana is active through the end of 2020. Her place of employment could not immediately be verified.
Prosecutors say the thefts took place between Dec. 1 and Dec. 6, 2018.
White pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings.
White is charged with tampering with consumer products and acquiring hydrocodone by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery and deception.
The two counts carry a combined maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
White’s charges put her among other local nurses who have faced similar accusations.
In November, Donald Mills was sentenced to federal probation for emptying fentanyl vials intended for patients and refilling them with saline.
In 2010, Jennifer Asay lost her license after she was accused of stealing narcotics, according to Gazette archives.
In 2003, Jenny Laughery was sentenced to federal probation after admitting painkiller thefts.
Mills, Asay and Laughery were all Billings Clinic nurses who were later terminated.