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Former UPMC Employee Pleads Guilty In NH In Hepatitis C Outbreak

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(Photo Credit: US Attorney's Office)

(Photo Credit: US Attorney’s Office)

CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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CONCORD, N.H. (KDKA/AP) – A traveling hospital technician accused of causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C last year has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in New Hampshire.

David Kwiatkowski, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 charges of drug theft and tampering under a plea agreement calling for him to serve 30 to 40 years in prison and avoid charges in other states. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Kwiatkowski has been in jail since August of last year.

He’s accused of stealing drugs – and in the process, infecting at least 30 patients in a New Hampshire hospital with Hepatitis C.

One of his stops was at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he worked for 47 days in 2008.

UPMC fired him after he was found in an area he wasn’t supposed to be in. Officials say they found syringes in his pockets. He was accused of taking a syringe with a painkiller from an operating room and sticking it down his pants.

UPMC reported his positive drug test for Fentanyl and other drugs in his system to his employer and fired him.

UPMC says it did not call police because they did not see him committing a criminal act.

Kwiatkowski was accused of stealing painkiller syringes from Exeter Hospital and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood.

Originally from Michigan, he worked in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired in New Hampshire in 2011. Forty-six people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

The 34-year-old Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 charges of drug theft and tampering under a plea agreement calling for him to serve 30 to 40 years in prison and avoid charges in other states. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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