Nurse charged with stealing drugs from Putnam County Jail

Detectives say nurse was giving inmates' medication to family members

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – A nurse who worked in the Putnam County Jail is facing drug charges after detectives said she stole antibiotics and other medications from the jail.

Tina Sue Anderson, 44, is charged with 10 counts of possession of a prescription medication without a prescription, five counts of theft, one count of practicing medicine without the proper license and one count of distributing amphetamines.

Anderson, who works for MTC Medical, a Utah-based company contracted to provide medical care for inmates in Putnam County, is being held on $137,000 bond. 

Detectives said that after an inmate is released from the Putnam County Jail, any remaining medication is supposed to be returned to the pharmacy for a credit. But three weeks ago, deputies realized some of the medication was not being properly disposed of.

Drug and vice unit detectives investigated and found that Anderson, who lives in Hawthorne, had taken antibiotics and other non-narcotic medications out of the jail after inmates were released and gave them to her family members, the sheriff's office said.

Detectives said Anderson also sold narcotic medication to a family member that she had obtained with a lawful prescription of her own.

Anderson was charged with 10 counts of medication possession because she had taken 10 different kinds of medication not prescribed to her, detectives said.

Anderson's nursing license does not allow her to dispense medication without a doctor’s order, which resulted in the charge of practicing medicine without a license. 

She was also charged with several counts of theft for taking the medicines from MTC Medical and was charged for selling her medication to someone.

Putnam County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Hansel Woods said it's up to MTC Medical whether Anderson will lose her job, but that if she is still employed by the company, the sheriff's office would likely not allow her to return to work at the jail.

“At this point, we would prefer that she not return here, but with that said, we have no control of her employment or if she remains employed with them,” Woods said.

News4Jax attempted to contact MTC Medical for comment and to find out about Anderson's employment status, but the company has not responded.

It’s unclear who originally caught on to the medication discrepancies and alerted law enforcement, but the sheriff’s office said Anderson's company is cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing.