Denver Surgical Technologist Accused of Tampering with and Stealing Narcotics

Sunday, February 14, 2016
By Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm

A surgical technologist accused of stealing powerful drugs and putting thousands of Colorado patients at risk is now in federal custody. Rocky Allen was indicted on February 16, 2016, on charges of allegedly stealing and tampering with narcotics at the Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Allen surrendered himself to federal agents in Denver, according to the Department of Justice.

Following His Arrest, 3,000 Patients Urged to Get Tested.

This case was brought after Allen was allegedly caught stealing a syringe containing fentanyl citrate, a powerful opiate, and replacing it with a syringe containing an unknown substance in January 2016. After his indictment, authorities and the hospital urged the nearly 3,000 patients who had surgery between August and January to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C as a precaution.

The state regulatory board found that Allen tested positive for marijuana and fentanyl following the alleged incident and revoked his license.

The Charges the Defendant is Facing.

Rocky Allen currently faces one count of tampering with a consumer product. If found guilty, he faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He also faces a count of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit and subterfuge. If found guilty of this charge, he faces up to four more years in prison as well as an additional fine of $250,000. Federal authorities said the case remains open and Allen is being held without bond.

To read the press release issued by the Department of Justice, click here.

Preventing This From Happening Again.

Two measures were signed into effect in Colorado following the case of Kristen Parker, a Denver surgical technologist who diverted drugs and exposed 6,000 people to hepatitis C, infecting at least 18, in 2009.

To read about this former case, click here.

One law required employers to report health care workers under suspicion to the state within two weeks and to make information about a case available to the public, including future employers.
The other law set up a statewide registry of surgical technologists and surgical assistants. Employers were required to verify those workers are in good state standing before allowing them to work. This law is under review. Critics say that it duplicates other state and federal requirements as well as hospital accreditation requirements already in place.

The hospital said in its statement that it will continue to cooperate with all investigatory and law enforcement agencies in hopes of prosecution of Allen for his alleged criminal actions.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals
and Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.

The lawyers of The Health Law Firm are experienced in both formal and informal administrative hearings and in representing physicians in investigations and at Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine hearings. We represent physicians accused of wrongdoing, in patient complaints and in Department of Health investigations. To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at


Gorman, Allen. “Colorado surgical tampering case prompts review of 3,000 patients.” Reuters. (February 16, 2016). Web.

“Feds arrest Swedish medical surgical tech accused of stealing drugs.” The Denver Post. (February 16, 2016). Web.

About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse.  She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.

KeyWords: Medical surgical technician, Swedish Medical Center, tampering with a consumer product, obtaining a controlled substance by deceit, U.S. attorney’s office, drug diversion, endangering patients, reckless endangerment, controlled substance, diversion investigation, Colorado state regulatory board, Department of Justice (DOJ), DOJ investigation, DOJ investigation defense attorney, Colorado health law attorney, Board of Medicine defense lawyer, health law, The Health Law Firm

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