JUST IN: West Boca nurse admits to stealing drugs from operating room


A surgical nurse at West Boca Medical Center is facing charges that he stole powerful controlled substances from the facility’s operating room, according to an arrest report.

Stacey Loy Lawhorn of Delray Beach is facing 44 counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and one count each of fraud and larceny between $300 and $5,000. Lawhorn, 50, is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $23,000 bail.

» Download our PostNOW app to get the latest Breaking News

Lawhorn allegedly stole more than 40 vials of fentanyl out of a dispensing cabinet in the medical center’s operating room from Nov. 2 to Jan. 5. According to a detective’s comments on the arrest report, fentanyl is “80 times as potent as morphine and packs hundreds of times the analgesic punch of heroin … ”

The report alleges that Lawhorn withdrew fentanyl from a dispenser after patients underwent surgery, were recovering from surgery or had left the recovery area after the procedure. In 20 of the 37 surgical procedures in which he allegedly withdrew fentanyl using a patient’s identification number, Lawhorn was either not present or did not participate in the surgery, hospital staff members told the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Fentayl is so deadly, DEA warning cops: Don’t touch it

Lawhorn also withdrew fentanyl in four cases — involving patients complaining of back pain, swollen lips, cold symptoms and trouble swallowing — in which there was no legitimate use for the drug, the report said.

During a drug screen Lawhorn underwent Jan. 6, he tested positive for fentanyl, the report said. A search of his hospital locker the same day as the drug screen uncovered an empty 5 milliliter vial of fentanyl and a half-filled 10 milliliter vial of furosemide, a quick-acting diuretic.

While serving a search warrant Jan. 6 at Lawhorn’s home, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found a 10 milliliter vial of ketamine, a controlled substance primarily used for starting and maintaining anesthesia.

During questioning by PBSO, Lawhorn allegedly admitted to take the drugs from the medical center.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Thinking of cheating? These FAU students sell tools to stop it
Thinking of cheating? These FAU students sell tools to stop it

A pair of Florida Atlantic University business school grads who once bemoaned the ease of cheating on online tests have jumped into the increasingly competitive world of high-tech proctoring with a twist, a patent and a mentor with big credentials in the electronics of education. Their first clients (though not their only ones): FAU business professors...
Ohio thief caught after leaving wallet at scene of crime
Ohio thief caught after leaving wallet at scene of crime

A thief in Ohio unwittingly turned himself in after leaving his wallet behind after leaving a Dayton store. Police said they were dispatched to Dollar General in Dayton around 8 a.m. Saturday, and found a wallet left behind by one of the suspects. Police found several items with the suspect’s name on them, including a photo ID.  The...
A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful
A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful

“Take On Me” by A-ha is one of the 1980s’ most remembered songs, not only for its fast-paced beat but also because of that iconic video, which featured a pencil-sketch animation theme (called rotoscoping) and live action featuring lead singer Morten Harket and his then-girlfriend, actress Bunty Bailey. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard...
5 former presidents appear at hurricane relief concert
5 former presidents appear at hurricane relief concert

All five living former Presidents appeared together for the first time since 2013 on Saturday, as they appeared at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for hurricane relief efforts, CNN reported. Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama attended “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal&rdquo...
Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired pilots
Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired pilots

The U.S. Air Force may recall as many as 1,000 retired military pilots to active duty because of an executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump,  ABC News reported. By law, only 25 retired pilots can be recalled through voluntary programs to serve in any one branch of military service, but Trump’s executive order removes...
More Stories