Former Hospital Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Painkiller, Replacing it With Water

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A former metro hospital employee is pleading guilty to stealing the powerful painkiller fentanyl and replacing the doses with sterile water.

Victor Van Cleave entered the plea on Tuesday in federal court in Des Moines. Van Cleave worked at Iowa Methodist Hospital as a pharmacy technician, giving him access to fentanyl. He admits he used syringes to steal the drug, then refilled vials with water.

Van Cleave's actions left patients at risk for being given diluted doses of needed pain medication. The 29-year-old will be sentenced on July 10th.