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Nursing home nurse in Crookston charged with stealing patients' drugs

A former nurse who was fired from a Crookston nursing home last year for sticking residents' fentanyl patches on his tongue made his first court appearance Wednesday on the charges of stealing narcotics.

A former nurse who was fired from a Crookston nursing home last year for sticking residents' fentanyl patches on his tongue made his first court appearance Wednesday on the charges of stealing narcotics.

David Matthew Perala, 35, was charged in Minnesota 9th District Court in Crookston with four counts of theft of controlled substances, each a felony, and one count of possession of controlled substances, a felony, according to the court records.

Perala was fired from the Villa St. Vincent nursing home last May after surveillance cameras caught him stealing pills from a medicine cart, according to investigative documents.

He allegedly told police that he stole Tylenol 3 and hydrocodone from residents and peeled pain patches containing fentanyl from residents' backs and stuck them to his tongue for an hour at a time, according to the complaint. The Minnesota Department of Health launched its own investigation into the incident last year and released a report saying Perala likely exploited nursing home residents by taking narcotic medication from 10 residents.

Perala had worked at the nursing home since 2002.

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Related Topics: THEFT
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