Phillip Jensen, 61, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of drug diversion, eight counts of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, one count of tampering with consumer products, and three counts of false statements related to health care matters, his attorney, Daniel Fultz, told Fox New Digital on Wednesday.
Jensen was released on a personal recognizance bond Wednesday after being arrested by the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
Starting in December 2019, Jensen allegedly pierced vials of fentanyl and removed half of the drug before filling it back up with another solution. He then administered the diluted drugs to patients as anesthesia before surgery, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.
One of the patients who received the diluted concoction suffered “serious bodily injury,” the U.S. Attorney said.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.
It was responsible for nearly 79,000 overdose deaths in Americans aged 18-45 between 2020 and 2021, making it the leading cause of death in that age group, according to a recent analysis by opioid awareness organization Families Against Fentanyl.
If convicted, Jensen faces up to 20 years in prison for drug diversion, up to four years in prison for acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, up to 20 years in prison for tampering with consumer products, and up to five years in prison for a false statement related to health care matters.
Source: FOX News