Boston paramedic pleads not guilty to stealing drugs
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A former Boston paramedic pleaded not guilty Friday to stealing and tampering with painkillers and sedatives from ambulances and locked drug storage areas.
Brian Benoit, 40, of South Boston was arraigned Friday in Suffolk Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to 73 counts for allegedly tampering with medications in the summer of 2011 when he was working as a paramedic for Boston EMS.
“The defendant’s access to these vials and tampered vials and syringes can be traced by his admissions and his conduct,” said prosecutor, Michelle Granda.
Prosecutors said Benoit was stealing vials and syringes of painkillers that included morphine and fentenall. They said he replaced them with things like saline, vitamin B and Benadryl. Investigators said he would put them back in the drug closet or back on board ambulances.
“A nurse at the Boston Medical Center observed marks on the defendant’s arm that it looked like indicative of drug abuse, they looked like track marks,” said Granda.
Benoit allegedly used the needles on himself and then use them on the patients he treated. Emergency responders notified nearly 60 patients about the ongoing investigation, however, he tested negative for HIV and Hepatitis C, according to prosecutors, so no communicable diseases were transmitted to any patients, although 10 patients did receive the deluded substances.
Benoit had no comment after his court appearance, but his attorney said the charges are off base.
“I’ve been representing public employees for many, many years. I have yet to find a public entity where all of the rules and procedures are strictly adhered to,” said defense attorney, Tom Drechsler.
Benoit was released on personal recognizance. He has been ordered not to work as an emergency responder until the case is resolved. He is expected to appear in court in January.