Judge on surgical tech who switched needles: 'He don't give a damn about people'

DENVER - The former surgical technician at Swedish Medical Center who admitted to switching syringes – sparking a health scare for thousands of patients – was sentenced to 78 months in prison on Monday.

Rocky Allen pleaded guilty to two federal charges in the case back in July. He was indicted in February after he was caught by a Swedish employee in an unassigned hospital room.

When hospital staff tested his urine, federal court documents said he tested positive for fentanyl – a powerful narcotic.

According to federal prosecutors, Allen has HIV, and 2,900 patients at Swedish had to get tested for the disease in wake of the allegations against the surgical tech.

To date, no patients have reported infections.

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During the sentencing hearing, the judge called Allen a compulsive liar, saying at one point he “don’t give a damn about people.”

As outlined in a series of 9Wants to Know investigations, Allen had been fired from at least five other medical facilities in three states for suspected or proven theft of fentanyl prior to his employment at Swedish.

Swedish maintains it was unaware of Allen’s troubled history when it hired him last year.

The judge pointed out that Allen has thrown multiple people under the bus over the years, from ex-boyfriends to the people whose lockers he broke into while serving in Afghanistan.

During the five-hour hearing, Allen admitted that he deserved prison time, and said he was truly sorry for the anguish and pain that he caused.

He also recounted past sexual abuse, and said that he wanted to be the voice of other addicts.

His attorneys asked the judge to reduce his sentence, arguing that there was no real victim in the case. The judge disagreed, saying that there were scores of vulnerable victims.

The judge did concede that it didn’t take a special skill for Allen to commit the crime.

Allen has 15 days to turn himself in and begin serving his sentence.

He will not have to pay a fine. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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