CONCORD, N.H. — David M. Kwiatkowski’s hospital colleagues often thought of him as an upbeat, athletic co-worker. But for more than a decade, he hid a dangerous drug-stealing tactic that spanned eight states and infected dozens with Hepatitis C, court documents say.
According to a plea agreement filed Tuesday, Kwiatkowski hopped from job to job as a traveling technician, often working in cardiac catheterization labs where he routinely stole syringes loaded with narcotics. He replaced them with syringes he had already used and refilled with saline solution — and that he had contaminated with the potentially lethal virus he acquired during years of drug abuse.
The agreement reveals the breadth of Kwiatkowski’s elaborate scheme and how hospitals failed to communicate with one another to stop him from infecting patients elsewhere; when caught or suspected of drug abuse, he simply found employment at a new hospital, the plea agreement said.
Kwiatkowski, 34, is expected to appear in federal court Wednesday to plead guilty to diverting hospital drugs — typically the narcotic Fentanyl — for his personal use. Prosecutors say that the Michigan native, who ultimately worked in 19 hospitals in eight states, caused at least 45 patients, mostly in New Hampshire, to be infected with his strain of Hepatitis C. He will go to prison for 30 to 40 years, according to the plea agreement.
A spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office declined to comment, saying the office would speak after Kwiatkowski’s court hearing. Lawyers for Kwiatkowski did not respond to a request for comment.
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