Nurses arraigned on drug charges
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
Two of four nurses charged with stealing prescription drugs while affiliated with St. Elizabeth Health Center have been arraigned in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Ryan T. Hofus, 27, of Cavalcade Drive is charged with two counts of drug theft and two counts of drug possession. The crimes reportedly occurred between March 1 and July 17, 2012.
Hofus appeared for arraignment Tuesday morning but then was ordered to turn himself in at the Mahoning County jail for booking. He was released from the jail on a personal recognizance bond.
Hofus will be back in court Tuesday before Judge James C. Evans for a pretrial hearing. His trial date is tentatively set for June 10.
The drugs associated with the charges levied against Hofus are the painkillers Dilaudid and Fentanyl.
Dustin E. Chapman, 31, of Union Street, Columbiana also appeared for arraignment Tuesday morning on drug charges. He is charged with one count of theft of Vicodin and one count of illegally possessing it between April 25 and May 30, 2012.
Chapman pleaded not guilty to the felony charges and was appointed an attorney to represent him in court.
Chapman also was taken to the Mahoning County jail for booking after the court hearing. He was released from the county jail with the issue of bond to be addressed by Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court at a later time.
Chapman is due to appear before Judge Sweeney on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing, and his trial is set for June 10.
Kathleen Marino, 60, of Thomas Road, Hubbard also was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on a single count of stealing morphine and a single count of possessing it between March 1 and April 30, 2012.
She has not appeared for arraignment.
A fourth nurse, Sherry L. Sandy, 47, of Mount Vernon Avenue has been indicted on two counts of drug theft, one pertaining to Fentanyl and the other to Midazolam, aggravated possession of Fentanyl and possession of Midazolam between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2012. Midazolam is a sedative.
She has not been arraigned on the charges.
Prosecutors contend the four stole the drugs for their own use. They did not traffic in the drugs, and there is no evidence they conspired with one another in the thefts.