Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police: Woman sold heroin from her bed in ICU

The unnamed woman was in the intensive care unit at the Excela Health Westmoreland HospitalĀ inĀ Greensburg City, Pennsylvania, when staff noticed that, for a woman in her condition, she was getting an awful lot of visitors, and none of them stayed very long — just in and out all day. One didn’t even know her last name.

The woman, 38, was admitted to the hospital on April 14, 2014, for an unreported condition, and admitted to the ICU.

According to Jennifer Miele, Excela’s Vice President of marketing, “The Intensive Care Unit at Excela Westmoreland Hospital cares for the sickest of sick patients, which is another reason our staff is keenly aware of what is happening in and around a patient’s room as they monitor for sudden changes in health status. Last week, they noticed an inordinate amount of foot traffic to one room. Rather than visitors who stayed for an hour or more, they saw people coming and going in a matter of minutes.”

The staff alerted security, who got police involved. Perhaps not wanting to simply rush in pin and frisk the suspect, whose medical condition is not known, police set up surveillance of the room. On April 18 they sent in a confidential informant who allegedly bought 30 packets of what police say is heroin. A search of the woman and the hospital room yielded 380 stamp bags of heroin, worth about $3,800, syringes, $1,000 in cash and several cell phones that reportedly rang at odd hours. Authorities believe she injected heroin into her IV while in the hospital.

Police have announced plans to charge the woman with delivery and possession of a controlled substance. They do not yet know how the woman got the heroin into the hospital.

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