Former surgical technician who stole syringes pleaded guilty to federal charges

Rocky Allen to be sentenced in October
Posted at 3:11 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 17:25:41-04

The former Swedish Medical Center surgical technician accused of stealing painkiller syringes, possibly exposing patients to HIV and Hepatitis, has pleaded guilty to federal charges in Denver.

Rocky Allen pleaded guilty Tuesday to tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deception for taking a syringe containing fentanyl from Swedish Medical Center in January.

He faces up to 14 years in prison when he's sentenced in October.

Allen's change of plea came about a month after prosecutors announced he has HIV as they urged surgical patients at Swedish Hospital to be tested.

Authorities fear Allen may have replaced fentanyl needles intended for patients with syringes he previously used, making infection possible.

Authorities haven't announced any cases of transmission, although about 500 of the nearly 3,000 patients asked to get free testing in Colorado haven't done so.