Published On: Wed, Dec 5th, 2018

Kansas City Paramedic, Michael Fostich Pleads Guilty to Stealing Morphine from Ambulances

A former Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department paramedic pleaded guilty in federal court today to stealing fentanyl and morphine from ambulances for his own personal use.

Michael L. Fostich, 37, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to obtaining a controlled substance (fentanyl and morphine) by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge.

Fostich was employed at the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) as a paramedic from August 2014 to Dec. 11, 2016. Fostich had access to fentanyl and morphine, which were stored in sealed narcotics boxes and locked in safes on KCFD ambulances. Each sealed narcotics box contained two vials of fentanyl, each containing 100 micrograms of liquid fentanyl, and two syringes of morphine, each containing 10 milligrams of liquid morphine. Fentanyl and morphine are opioid narcotics used to treat pain. As a paramedic, Fostich was able to unlock the electronic safe and open the sealed narcotics boxes in order to administer controlled substances to patients, if necessary.

Photo/Ely Penner

By pleading guilty today, Fostich admitted that he stole fentanyl and morphine from the ambulances for his own personal use. Fostich also admitted that he prepared patient care records and state reporting forms that contained misrepresentations regarding his use of fentanyl and morphine.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 11, 2016, Fostich reported he was responsible for the use, administration, or wasting of 806 doses of fentanyl, which accounted for approximately 39 percent of all of the KCFD’s total reported use, administration and wasting of fentanyl during that period of time. Fostich also reported that he was responsible for the use, administration, or wasting of 636 doses of morphine during that time, which accounted for approximately 63 percent of all of the KCFD’s total reported use, administration or wasting of morphine during that period of time. The KCFD employed approximately 350 paramedics during this time.

Under federal statutes, Fostich is subject to a sentence of up to four years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jess E. Michaelsen and Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and the FBI.

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