Clear Lake man pleads guilty to federal charge of stealing fentanyl from patients

CLEAR LAKE — A Clear Lake man is facing up to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing fentanyl from elderly patients.

The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa’s office says 27-year-old Ryan Thornton has pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring fentanyl by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge.

In a plea agreement, Thornton admits that while serving as a nurse, he diverted liquid fentanyl that was supposed to be dispensed to patients for his own personal use by removing it from the patients’ IV pumps with a syringe.

When sentenced at a later date, Thornton faces up to four years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release following any imprisonment.