CEDAR FALLS – Two Northeast Iowa nurses have been arrested for allegedly taking painkillers from patients.
In separate cases, federal grand jury returned indictments charging Lacey Staveley and James Allen Moorehead with prescription drug fraud and making false health-care statements.
Staveley, of Evansdale, had been working Cedar Falls Health Care Center in November 2016 when she allegedly took hydrocodone-acetaminophen tablets intended for two nursing home patients and then falsely indicated on medical records that the medicine had been administered.
Court records allege this happened four times.
Moorehead, 57, was a registered nurse at Franklin General Hospital in Hampton in 2017 when he allegedly obtained hydrocodone-acetaminophen and Norco, a painkiller that contains hydrocodone, from three patients and made false statements on records to cover his tracks.
Court records allege Moorehead did this 10 times.
Both pleaded not guilty during court appearances and remain free pending trial.
Both indictments were filed in June during a nationwide sweep that U.S. Department of Justice officials said was the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action. The operation netted 601 arrests --- 165 of the arrests were doctors, nurses or other medical professionals --- and many of the charges related to the prescription and distribution of opioids and other drugs.