Travis Bourbonnais highlights Minnesota's prescription drug theft problem

Categories: Drugs

A new report says medical drug theft has spun out of control in Minnesota.
A former St. Paul nurse was sentenced to four years of probation Wednesday for stealing Vicodin from patients at an assisted-living facility.

The sentencing comes just one week after a new report that indicates medical drug thefts in Minnesota have spun out of control in the past six years, released by the Controlled Substance Diversion Coalition.

From 2005 to 2011, the state saw 250 reports of stolen or lost medical drugs at health care facilities, according to the report. Not including retail pharmacies, there were 16 reports of thefts or loss in 2006; in 2010, there were 52, an increase of 325 percent. Read more on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Travis Alan Bourbonnais, 36, pleaded guilty to stealing the Vicodin last November.

To cover his trail, Bourbonnais created an elaborate record-keeping scheme, which involved keeping a second set of false books. The stolen pills usually came from inventory that was to be destroyed or medication orders for amounts more than actually needed by the patients, according to federal prosecutors.

In addition to probation, Bourbonnais will spend six months in a halfway house and perform 100 hours of community service for the single count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Previous Coverage:

  • Abbott Northwestern nurse accused of stealing painkillers
  • Sarah May Casareto denies stealing patient's pain medication
  • Larry V. King, Dakota County deputy, was Sarah May Casareto's O.R.-bound victim

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    Prescription Drug Addiction
    Prescription Drug Addiction

    This is just one of many examples of how RX drugs make it onto the streets. Between theft, fraudulent scripts, and pill-trading, it seems almost impossible to stop.  I mean, it's great that this guy was caught, but think of the hundreds of undercover deals that go unnoticed by law enforcement.  I think the real solution to this problem is going to be greater public education over the danger of RX drugs. It's just too hard to try and stop people from getting them.

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