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Emergency Medical Services Continuing Ed Specialist Charged with Theft of Fentanyl from Central DuPage Hospital

Thu August 11 2016 6:02 pm
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Joshua Agruss, 33, of the 9000 block of Cummings St. in Huntley, is charged with unauthorized acquisition of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and two counts of burglary, after being accused of obtaining Fentanyl illegally during re-stocking of the drug or pretending to re-stock the drug for paramedics in the Emergency Room at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

Joshua Agruss

Joshua Agruss

Allegedly in December 2014, the former emergency medical services continuing education specialist employee at Central DuPage Hospital obtained fentanyl from an emergency department registered nurse to pretend to replace fentanyl for a patient after treatment by a paramedic, when there was no actual incidence of giving fentanyl to a patient.

Agruss is free on $5,000 bail after being charged with stealing the painkiller fentanyl from the hospital.

Winfield Police Chief Dave Schar called the 18-month investigation “long and complex.”

Fentanyl is a painkiller that many times more potent than morphine or heroin. Fentanyl is used on the street illegally with heroin or instead of heroin. Because Fentanyl is stronger, overdoses often require at least two naloxone administrations to counter overdoses. An increase in deaths have been attributed to illegal overdoses of Fentanyl.

Prosecutors also say that Agruss obtained 400 micrograms of Fentanyl from an emergency department registered nurse to replace fentanyl administered to a patient by a paramedic while knowing that the paramedic actually provided only 200 micrograms fentanyl to the patient.

A $50,000 warrant was issued for Agruss’ arrest July 28, 2016. Argus turned himself in Saturday, August 9, 2016 and posted bail.

“This case is a textbook example of law enforcement and other entities working together toward a common goal,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a prepared statement.

Agruss is also accused of theft of a controlled substance from a Wonder Lake Fire Protection District ambulance while it was parked at Centegra Hospital in McHenry. An investigation was conducted after Fentanyl was discovered missing, and Agruss was charged with one count of burglary for entering the building of Centegra Hospital – McHenry with intent to commit theft, one count of burglary to a motor vehicle for entering an ambulance while it was parked at the hospital with the intent to commit theft, and one count of criminal trespass to a vehicle for entering an ambulance with intent to commit theft, according to police.

Agrus was employed as an Emergency Room Technician at Centegra McHenry Hospital.

Agruss is scheduled for his next courtroom appearance at 9 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2016 in courtroom 4014.

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