Former Nurse At State Correctional Facility Admits Stealing Prescription Drugs

TRENTON – A nurse who formerly worked at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton pleaded guilty today to stealing thousands of prescription and non-prescription pills from the facility.

Patricia Bautista, 49, of Oxford, N.J., pleaded guilty today to an accusation charging her with third-degree theft by unlawful taking before Superior Court Judge Stephen B. Rubin in Hunterdon County. Bautista is a registered nurse who was employed by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She was assigned to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility, both of which are located in Clinton.

In pleading guilty, Bautista admitted that she stole more than 5,780 prescription and non-prescription pills from the correctional facility. The pills included pain medications, such as Percocet and naproxen, antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin and Cipro, and over-the-counter medications and products such as ibuprofen and Vitamin D.

The pills, which were in containers bearing labels identifying the Edna Mahan facility as their place of origin, were found in the home in East Stroudsburg, Pa., that Bautista formerly shared with her estranged husband. They were turned over to the New Jersey State Police by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. The State Police charged her by summons on May 10.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Bautista be sentenced to 180 days in the Hunterdon County Jail and a period of probation. She will be required to reimburse the University of Medicine and Dentistry a total of $842 for the stolen drugs. She must forfeit her job and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Rubin scheduled sentencing for Bautista for July 13.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Anthony A. Picione, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Victor Salgado took the guilty plea. The case was investigated by Detectives Kenneth Lutz and Brian Murphy of the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division assisted.

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