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Ex-Iowa Nurse Pleads Not Guilty to Stealing Clinic Fentanyl



A former Cedar Rapids nurse has pleaded not guilty to federal charges after being accused of stealing the powerful painkiller fentanyl from a surgery clinic where she worked.

Sabrina Thalblum, 52, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with tampering and attempting to tamper with a consumer product, as well as acquiring and attempting to acquire a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge. She pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, The Gazette reported.

Prosecutors say that for a year starting in 2018, Thalblum used fine gauge needles to withdraw the opioid from unopened vials of the drug, then used a needle to replace the missing painkiller with a clear substance.

A settlement agreement filed in June with the Iowa Board of Nursing says Thalblum admitted to taking the fentanyl from the surgery center and to having a substance abuse problem.

She has been released without bond while she awaits her Feb. 1 trial.

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