HAVERHILL — A Haverhill nurse charged in federal court in Boston with tampering with patients’ morphine is the second woman accused of the same crime while working at Maplewood Care and Rehabilitation Center in Amesbury.

Brianna Duffy, 32, was indicted on one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud or deception. 

According to the indictment, on March 17 and 18, Duffy was working as registered nurse at Hunt Nursing and Rehab in Danvers. There, investigators say she tampered with morphine prescribed to an 89-year-old hospice patient.

Duffy replaced the extracted medication with another liquid, diluting it to 26% of the prescribed concentration, according to investigators.

"The hospice patient received the diluted morphine and suffered unnecessary pain," a statement from the office of Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, reads.

The indictment also alleges that from December 2016 until July 2017, Duffy also stole morphine from a patient at Maplewood Care and Rehabilitation Center in Amesbury, where she was an employee.

Duffy is accused of diverting morphine from two bottles that were prescribed to a 68-year old Amesbury patient. The U.S. attorney says she diluted the remaining morphine with another liquid, leaving only 1.2% to 2.5% of the declared concentration of morphine.

Investigators say that on July 18, she tested positive for morphine in her system.

The charges provide for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

Earlier this year, another woman who worked at the Amesbury facility was accused of tampering with morphine.

Lauren Perrin, 47, of Haverhill, was charged March 12 and later barred by a federal judge from "seeking employment in the medical field," although her nursing license was still active with the state. 

She initially pleaded not guilty through Andover attorney Mark McNally, but has been awaiting a new court date to change the plea since May 6.

A spokesperson for Lelling's office was not immediately available to say whether the two cases are at all linked.

Perrin is accused of diluting an 88-year-old hospice patient's morphine down to between 19 percent and 29 percent of the prescribed dosage, according to federal court documents. Perrin tampered with three bottles of morphine sulfate prescribed to the hospice patient, according to the federal allegations.

She worked at Maplewood from March 18, 2015, until Jan. 4, 2018, according to records.

The patient Perrin cared for "was diagnosed with dementia, frequent seizures, a leg fracture and shingles, a painful viral infection,” according to court papers.

The woman was prescribed 5 mg of morphine sulfate to be administered three times daily, according to the records.

From Nov. 5, 2017, until Nov. 26, 2017, Perrin is accused of “tampered with three vials” of the woman’s morphine doses.

Recommended for you