• Postel, 33, was accused of taking patients' painkillers for herself
  • She faces up to 8 years in prison
  • She takes gives patients' prescibed doses then injects leftovers to herself
  • She did this from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2018 and Dec. 10, 2018

A former Cedar Rapids nurse was convicted in federal court on Tuesday for taking patients’ painkillers from IV lines and injecting the drugs on herself.

Kelly K. Postel, 33, of Monticello, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court to one count of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge on Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2018 and one count of attempting to acquire and acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge on Dec. 10, 2018, The Gazette reported.

In a court hearing, Postel admitted to intentionally taking fentanyl and morphine intended for patients.

In the indictment it was shown that Postel, a registered nurse at an unidentified Cedar Rapids hospital, took excess amounts of fentanyl and morphine from the hospital pharmacy and administered her patients’ prescribed doses and injected herself with the surplus drugs in incidents from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30.

On Dec 10, 2018, Postel withdrew 75 milliliters of fentanyl from an intensive care patient’s intravenous line and injected herself with the drug; she attempted to obtain more fentanyl from the patient’s IV line but the line she accessed also contained a sedative which she injected herself wit during work hours.

Postel worked at the hospital from Jan. 12, 2016 to Dec. 20, 2018.
She admitted to taking the drugs while at duty and tested positive to fentanyl and other drugs when her employer asked her to submit to a drug screen on Dec. 10, 2018 due to “reasonable suspicion”.

The board ordered Postel’s license to be suspended indefinitely until she can complete the court’s requirements of completed treatment, among others, within a 12-month probation period.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Roberts said that Postel faces up to four years up for each charge, up to a $250,000 fine on each and up to three years of supervised release following any prison term.

Postel also has to pay costs of prosecution as part of the plea agreement, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney, Patrick Reinert.

Postel is currently on a pretrial release pending sentencing.

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