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Nurses Say Doctor Got Them Hooked on Painkillers

Nurses Say Doctor Got Them Hooked on Painkillers

Stephen J. Lee / Grand Forks Herald

December 11, 2008

THIEF RIVER FALLS — Two former nurses who pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining prescription drugs told police that a doctor they worked for got them hooked and then ensnared them in a scheme to obtain thousands of pills to share with the doctor.

The doctor, an obstetrician/gynecologist who used to work at the now-MeritCare clinic, used to give them painkillers out of her pocket and from a jar on her desk, Melissa Beier, 33, and Sarah Sabol, 31, told police in transcripts obtained by the Herald.

Later, the doctor would give them prescriptions to fill, which they would share with her, they said.

That doctor has been part of a wider investigation involving prescription drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration but she has not been charged.

Kristin Hanson, the assistant Pennington County attorney prosecuting the nurses, said she believes they told police the truth but allegations of co-conspiracy alone are not enough to charge someone with a drug crime.

Not enough other evidence came to light of the doctor’s role, Hanson said.

When the doctor stopped working at the clinic, the nurses said they began posing as Dr. Eloise-Marie Clark to get prescriptions because Beier worked for Clark.

The case came to light June 30 when a Wal-Mart pharmacist called police. The two nurses had been getting too many prescriptions, and he suspected they had been posing over the phone as doctors.

Sabol and Beier pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony in the twin cases.

Beier was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in jail, with all but 14 days postponed, and up to five years supervised probation. Sabol is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 29 in state district court in Thief River Falls.

  • 810_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Thief River Falls is painfully boring, but that's no excuse. If the doctor was not charged I assume that the DEA did not have any direct evidence of a crime. It's a shame the these two nurses are dragging the doctors name through the mud. Even if the allegations against the doctor are true these RN's are pathetic; they had to know better.

  • J0423100_max50


    about 6 years ago


    They should be more responsible. There's no one here to blame but themselves. Furthermore they should have turned the Dr. in for her violations and NOT participated in the "drugging".

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    Both the nurses and the doctor are wrong, none of them should have participated in this. The doctor is at fault, but the nurses are just as responsible for going along with it. I agree that the nurses, as well as the doctor, need to take responsibility for their actions and all three should suffer the consequences. -Erica T

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    Very sad that these nurses are playing the "blame game" instead of taking responsibility. The doc was wrong too and should suffer consequences.

  • Img00113_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Yeah, I agree with you Pat! As nurses especially, they should know the responsibility of their own actions! I don't care if the Dr. regurgitated the pills back into their mouths like a mama bird, they could still spit them out!

  • Rn_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Did the doc put a gun to their head and force them to take the drugs?? NO!

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