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Anesthesiologist admits he stole fentanyl while working at Kansas City hospital

Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 25, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man who worked as an anesthesiologist at two Kansas City-area hospitals pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally obtaining fentanyl by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.

Roman Peplinski, 37, entered the guilty plea in federal court in Kansas City.

Peplinski worked as an anesthesiologist at Union Hill Group and provided anesthesia services at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City and Lakewood Medical Center in Lee's Summit.

A court document states Peplinski had access to narcotics used in medical procedures.

Fentanyl was stored in automated dispensing cabinets at Lakewood Medical Center.

To access the powerful opioid, the dispensing cabinets required a fingerprint scan and a unique personalized numerical code by each person, according to the court document.

The person accessing the fentanyl also had to state which patient would receive the drug.

Peplinski used the name of a patient who was admitted to Lakewood Medical Center at 3:09 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2022 and discharged about four hours later.

He got into the automated dispensing cabinet three times on Nov. 5 by using the patient's name.

That patient was not prescribed fentanyl while at the hospital, according to the court document.

The investigation did not find any patient affected by Peplinski's actions.

He could face a sentence of up to four years in federal prison without parole.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

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