Surgical tech Rocky Allen pleads guilty in syringe swap case

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DENVER — Former Swedish Medical Center surgical technician Rocky Allen, who is accused of stealing painkillers, pleaded guilty Thursday.

A previous court filing from his lawyer indicated he would plead guilty without a plea agreement from prosecutors.

Allen is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Oct. 13. He faces up to 14 years behind bars and a $500,000 fine.

Prosecutors wanted Allen taken into custody immediately, but the defense argued he is not a flight risk and has turned in his passport. The judge agreed to allow him to remain free on bond until the sentencing hearing.

Allen is accused of changing syringes and putting thousands of patients at risk. He initially pleaded not guilty in February. He worked at Swedish from August 2015 to January and is accused of diverting the painkiller fentanyl from the facility.

In June, it was revealed Allen had tested positive for HIV. The blood tests were released with Allen’s consent through the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rocky Allen

Rocky Allen

Results of the blood test show Allen carries HIV (subtype B) and that he is negative for hepatitis B and C, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said at the time, but there had been no reported cases of transmission.

Swedish Medical Center is offering free testing for any patients who might have been affected.

Allen, who was arrested and charged in February after being indicted by a federal grand jury, is charged with one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count obtaining a controlled substance by deceit.

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