By Ethan Colbert
An O’Fallon man, who once worked as a paramedic at Pike County Memorial Hospital in Louisiana and at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday and will now appear before Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer for arraignment in the 45th Circuit Court at 8:30 a.m. on July 9.
According to electronic court records, Matthew J. Hall, is charged with Class D Felony of stealing a controlled substance.
If convicted, Hall could face up to seven years in the Department of Corrections or up to one year in the county jail. The court could also impose a monetary fine up to $10,000.
According to the probable cause statement filed with the Pike County Circuit Court Clerk’s office, between August 9 and October 22, 2017, Hall is suspected of stealing a controlled substance, Hydromorphone.
He is also believed to have committed similar acts at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights, according to the probable cause statement.
Hydromorphone is a narcotic that is used to treat moderate to severe pain, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. In a report filed by the DEA, Hydromorphone has a potency two to eight times stronger than traditional morphine medication, but has a shorter duration of action and greater sedative properties.
According to the probable cause statement, local hospital officials were alerted to Hall’s alleged actions after receiving an anonymous phone call. Upon investigating, they determined that Hall was retrieving from the hospital’s medical supplies Hydromorphone far more frequently than other paramedics.
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