Moses Lake nurse sentenced to 18 months for replacing morphine with saline

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A Moses Lake nurse was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for tampering with morphine medication and replacing the stolen morphine with saline.

According to court documents, between August 2019 and April 2020, Esther Rae Tuller, 41, worked as a Washington-licensed registered nurse employed at the Confluence Health Clinic in Moses Lake.

Tuller used syringes to remove morphine from at least 17 vials and ingested the morphine as part of her own opioid addiction.

Tuller then replaced the morphine with a saline solution and attempted to glue the caps back on the vials to make them appear intact.

Saline is essentially salt dissolved in water.

Before Tuller was arrested, at least one Confluence Health patient who was prescribed morphine had to be rushed to the emergency room, where they continued to be in pain after receiving only saline from the supposed morphine vials.

Tuller’s prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.