Big Sky Roundup

USDOJ: Butte nurse sentenced for stealing opiates from multiple medical centers

By: - October 18, 2022 5:58 pm

(Illustration by Getty Images)

A Butte nurse who admitted to stealing opiates while working at area medical centers was sentenced last week to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said in a news release.

Shantyl Marie Giacoletto, 30, pleaded guilty in June to unlawfully obtaining controlled substances, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In one case, a patient who needed oxycodone had to go without “for several days” as a result of the “diversion” of pills, the news release said.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided over the case. Giacoletto was taken into custody.

The news release outlined the events leading up to the sentencing as follows:

The government alleged in court documents that Giacoletto diverted opiates in 2021 while working at medical centers in Anaconda, Butte and Deer Lodge. In June 2021, a Community Hospital of Anaconda manager discovered that Giacoletto, for at least the previous three months, routinely obtained oxycodone from the hospital’s pharmacy but did not administer that drug to the intended patients.

A total of 392 oxycodone pills were unaccounted for, the news release said. When confronted by management, Giacoletto denied diverting drugs. The hospital terminated Giacoletto’s employment.

The government further alleged that Giacoletto began working at Copper Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Butte 11 days later. Copper Ridge subsequently discovered diversions of hydrocodone, and that Giacoletto had worked shifts at Copper Ridge within days of management discerning the diversions.

Another diversion occurred in October 2021 at Continental Care and Rehabilitation Center in Butte, where Giacoletto worked as a traveling nurse. Dozens of hydrocodone and oxycodone tables were unaccounted for and patient log sheets had been manipulated and destroyed in violation of record-keeping policies. Because of the diversion, a patient had to go without oxycodone for several days until a new supply arrived. Management then announced a drug screening. Giacoletto did not submit to the drug test and did not return to work at that facility.

A subsequent diversion occurred in November 2021 at The Ivy in Deer Lodge. The Ivy experienced a significant drug diversion while Giacoletto was working there as a nurse. The director then requested urine samples from the staff. All complied and tested negative except for Giacoletto, who refused and left the facility. Giacoletto’s employer then contacted her and instructed her to provide a sample. Giacoletto returned to the facility several hours later and requested a specific bathroom for the drug test. When she provided the sample, it was cold, which yielded an inconclusive result.

When interviewed by a DEA agent, Giacoletto denied diverting drugs and blamed the medication discrepancies on the poor record keeping practices at the facilities.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anaconda Police Department, Powell County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

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