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Documents Reveal Name of Alleged Pharmacy Painkiller Thief in Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Federal officials and UnityPoint Health still have not named the person accused of stealing prescription painkillers and replacing them with sterile water.  But documents posted today by the Iowa Pharmacy board may have named him.

Last fall UnityPoint announced an investigation was underway into the theft of painkillers from Methodist Hospital.  An employee at the hospital was accused of stealing fentanyl and other other painkillers then refilling vials with sterile water.  Hundreds of patients potentially were then treated with water instead of painkillers.  The employee was fired after the investigation was announced.  However that person's name was not released.

Documents posted online by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy may name the suspect, though.

A complaint investigated by the board accuses Victor Van Cleave of Des Moines of stealing 252 vials of fentanyl and 18 vials of hydromorphone from his place of employment then replacing the drugs with sterile water from August to October of last year.  Van Cleave voluntarily agreed to surrender his pharmacy license and agreed to not work at any pharmacy in Iowa again.

The documents do not list his place of employment.  However UnityPoint does confirm that Van Cleave was employed by the health care provider between August and October of 2016 and that he is no longer employed by them.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is investigating the theft of the painkillers.  No charges have been filed and they could not confirm to Channel 13 today if Van Cleave is the focus of their investigation.