A paramedic working on a South Dakota Indian reservation is accused of stealing powerful drugs from the Oglala Sioux Tribe Ambulance Service on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Dane Arredondo pleaded not guilty federal charges. He’s accused of taking the synthetic opioid fentanyl, as well Ketamine which is known as “special K“ or the date-rape drug. Arredondo is also accused of swiping the sedative, Midazolam, for his own personal use.
In January, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance call at a Rapid City residence, where several people were highly intoxicated. One of them was Arredondo, who gave deputies a fake name at the time, but his drivers license proved otherwise. The sheriff’s deputies found vials of the drugs he accused of taking in plain sight.
Arredondo had been working as a EMT for the Oglala Sioux Tribe since 2013 and had recently become a licensed paramedic which meant he had access to all the drugs in the ambulance while on the job.
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services special agent investigating the case testified that Arredondo had legally administered the three drugs to a patient he treated for a gunshot wound. Arredondo documented to the ambulance service that he threw any excess away. But prosecutors say it’s clear he kept them for himself.
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Ambulance Service keeps the drugs in a locked safe that paramedics use a PIN to access. The ambulance service has protocols in place to document what is used and paramedics are supposed to dispose the excess in the presence of another medical personnel.
Arredondo is facing several felony charges, including possession and health care fraud.