Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A nursing director is charged with selling prescription drugs from her office.
Federal prosecutors say 40 year old Catherine Vitello sold un-used prescription drugs from her office at the St. Catherine Laboure Health Care Center. These controlled substances included hydrocodone, fentanyl, oxycontin, morphine, and clonazepam. US Attorney says Vitello made two such sales to an undercover DEA agent.
“Today’s charges involve a health care professional who, instead of being a healer, acted as a drug dealer,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Just last week, a jury convicted a local physician of writing over 10,000 illegal prescriptions. Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in this country and we will continue to do our part to prosecute those who contribute to that epidemic.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Crowell stated, “Over the past five years, emergency room visits involving the misuse or abuse of pharmaceutical drugs have doubled. Today’s arrests focused on a pharmaceutical drug dealer who led a double life disguised as the Director of Nursing at St. Catherine Laboure Health Care Center. Supplying unused prescription drugs from her office, Catherine Vitello fueled the drug threat to our community and profited over $60,000 in the last year. We allege she distributed diverted prescription drugs on the streets of Buffalo with no concern for public health."
Vitello faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.