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RN admits to stealing drugs

Pacifico arraigned on charges she stole narcotics from hospital

A registered nurse working at UPMC Altoona admitted to stealing narcotics from the hospital in November and replacing the pills with vitamins, court documents stated.

Dena J. Pacifico, 39, was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio on a drug-related felony and two misdemeanors, according to court documents.

UPMC Altoona police were alerted to suspicious activity with a medication dispensing machine after an empty Oxycodone package was discovered near the machine in November, police reported.

Later the same day, police were notified of more empty packaging found near the same location, and again, three days later.

An audit of hospital personnel revealed several red flags with Pacifico’s medication transactions, and when questioned, Pacifico admitted she stole the Oxycodone to help her sleep at night, police reported.

To mask the crime, Pacifico said she replaced the medicine with Vitamin D pills, a criminal complaint stated.

Released on a $10,000 unsecured bail, Pacifico waived her preliminary hearing and is scheduled for a formal arraignment in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas on July 23, court documents stated.

Mirror Staff Writer Ike Fredregill is at 814-946-7458.

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