Paramedic charged with theft of drugs

By David Hedges, Publisher

State Police have arrested a paramedic they said was stealing drugs carried on ambulances and refilling the containers with tap water.

Matthew T. Clarkson, 27, of 90 Oak Drive, Spencer, was a paramedic with the Roane County Emergency Squad.

While working for the ambulance service, Clarkson was allegedly taking drugs from vials carried on ambulances and from supply rooms at ambulance stations in Spencer and Newton. After removing the drugs police said he would refill the vials with water.

Trooper P.S. Fisher of the State Police detachment in Spencer said the drugs included morphine and Valium.

Fisher said Clarkson also was engaging in "doctor shopping" and obtaining prescriptions for painkillers from four different physicians, without telling any of the doctors he was seeing the other physicians.

In addition, Fisher said Clarkson was stealing drugs from his workplace in Jackson County. Clarkson was a paramedic with the fire and safety division at Alcan Rolled Products in Ravenswood.

Clarkson was arrested last Tuesday on seven felony and 12 misdemeanor offenses in Jackson County, where his bond was set at $100,000...

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