- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Federal agents arrested an anesthesiologist on Wednesday on charges alleging that he stole drugs from the Muncie hospital where he worked and treated patients while high.

Jose Ramos, 51, was arrested at his home in Fort Wayne by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and was charged with four felony counts of possession of a narcotic drug, four misdemeanor counts of theft and two misdemeanor counts of criminal recklessness, The (Muncie) Star Press reports (https://tspne.ws/29xTqyH ).

Ramos was being held in the Delaware County Jail on a $32,000 bond. Court records do not indicate if he has an attorney.

Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold issued a press release saying the arrest followed “an intensive eight-month investigation” by the DEA and his office. Ramos took a leave from IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie in October.

A probable cause affidavit states the director of pharmacy services at the hospital contacted the DEA last Oct. 6 to report records showed “multiple instances” in which controlled substances obtained by Ramos “were not charted as being administered to a patient.”

On Oct. 5, a day Ramos was “responsible for administering anesthesia in connection with seven medical procedures,” a staff member found a hypodermic needle cap and what appeared to be blood in a restroom accessible only to operating room staff. A nurse that day notified supervisors that Ramos appeared to be “drugged” or “high” while administering anesthesia during a procedure.

Gerald Costello, medical director of the hospital’s anesthesiology division, met with Ramos and asked him to submit to a drug screen, according to the affidavit. Costello told investigators that Ramos agreed and told him he anticipated he would test positive, and that he repeatedly told Costello “his career was over.”

Authorities allege that the blood and urine samples taken Oct. 5 showed that Ramos was under the influence of marijuana, morphine, Meperidine, Hydromorphine and Fetanyl. After that date, Ramos took a leave of absence and entered into an inpatient physician addiction treatment program in Florida, the affidavit said.

Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig said he didn’t believe the patients believed to have been treated by Ramos while he was under the influence of drugs had been told of the allegations.

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Information from: The Star Press, https://www.thestarpress.com

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