BOSTON — A nurse from Berkley was sentenced to one year on house arrest and four years of probation for tampering with patients' fentanyl at a Fall River hospital and an outpatient clinic.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said 42-year-old Hugo Vieira was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, after pleading guilty in May to tampering with a consumer product.

Between 2017 and 2019, Vieira removed fentanyl from vials meant for surgery patients and replaced it with saline.

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He worked at St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River as well as at an outpatient vascular surgery center, according to reports from MassLive and to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Authorities ultimately identified 60 vials that had been tampered with at the vascular surgery center and two vials at the hospital's post-surgery recovery unit.

The office said the tampered vials contained under 8% of the fentanyl they were meant to have, in some cases containing as little as 1.3%.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a three-year prison sentence, but U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley handed down a sentence of five years on probation — including one year in home detention — on Tuesday.


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