Hospital burglary draws federal charges

From Local Sources

INDIANAPOLIS — Two women have been charged on federal drug, conspiracy and burglary charges after allegedly burglarizing an Indianapolis hospital and stealing morphine, PPE and other medical supplies.

April E. Hayworth, 31, and Christina A. Smith, 37, both of Indianapolis, allegedly broke into a restricted medication storage area at the Central Indiana Cancer Center on April 14 and stole thirty carpujects of morphine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. With a covering over their heads, authorities said, each individual opened multiple cabinets, removing the missing controlled substances. Agents also discovered that personal protective equipment and other medical supplies had been stolen from the hospital, including seven boxes of isolation masks; 50 tubs of Sani-wipes; 10 containers of soap; 20 bottles of hand sanitizer; eight bottles of air deodorizer; and six tubs of bleach wipes.

Hayworth was a member of the hospital cleaning crew. Investigators discovered Smith planned on selling the morphine.

Investigators later observed Smith entering a vehicle with an associate. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers initiated a traffic stop. Smith was identified and arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant. During the arrest, officers discovered 29 carpujects of morphine in the vehicle.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Sawa who is prosecuting this case for the government, each defendant faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the prosecution shows the office’s strong commitment to combating fraud and criminal activity related to COVID-19, which is reflected in the creation of a Coronavirus Fraud Task Force in the Southern District of Indiana.

“If you receive any forms of suspicious communication related to the COVID-19 crisis, or become aware of family and friends that have received suspicious communications, I ask that you don’t respond directly but instead report the activity to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721, or to the NCDF e-mail address,” said U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler.

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