A Sidney woman is facing theft charges after being arrested for allegedly taking prescription medications that were intended for patients in a western North Dakota medical center. According to court records, some of those patients were deprived of pain medication at an end-of-life stage.
Mariah Ruth Selensky, 34, of Sidney, Montana, was arrested by Williams County authorities on Feb. 18 and charged with theft of property (a Class C felony). The complaint states Selensky took prescription drugs from the Tioga Medical Center with the intent to deprive the owners of said property, knowing that she was not privileged to do so.”
The case first came to the attention of law enforcement after the Tioga Police Department was notified on Oct. 20, 2020 of a report of theft of prescription medication from the Tioga Medical Center.
Tyler Hinricksen, a member of the Northwest Narcotics Task Force, was assigned to the case.
According to court records, Selensky was employed as a registered nurse at Tioga Medical Center and one of her duties was to administer medications to patients.
Hospital staff members told Hinricksen that a number of pain-management prescriptions were determined to be missing between Aug. 5, 2020 through Oct. 17, 2020. Those medications included loricet (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), tramadol, dilaudid, morphine and alprazolam.
Hinricksen was told all of the missing medications were checked out by Selensky using the hospital’s automated medication dispersing system. The system utilizes a fingerprint and password identification for each employee.
Hospital staff members also said the medications were checked out by Selensky and intended to be administered to patients but a check of records showed those patients never received their medications. Records also revealed Selensky would check out two vials of medication but administer only one to the patient. Court records state some of those patients were deprived end-of-life pain medications during that time.
The case also outlines one such incident.
On Oct. 17, 2020, Selensky arrived for her shift 30 minutes prior to the start of the shift at 1 p.m. The report states medical staff noticed Selensky had a concerned look on her face.
Selensky then entered the medication room containing the hospital’s automated medication dispensing system and checked out two vials of 10mg morphine and two vials of 2mg hydromorphone (dilaudid) at 12:38 p.m. which was 22 minutes before her shift started.
Selensky then entered a restroom only assessable by hospital staff. Upon her exit, staff members entered the restroom and located a syringe cover and wrapper.
During that same shift, Selensky again entered the medication room at 3:21 p.m. and checked out additional quantities of dilaudid. Hospital authorities confirmed there were no orders for the medication checked out by Selensky.
Selensky was confronted about the medication and a supervisor noted Selensky had dilated pupils, was slow to respond and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics/impaired.
Selensky then consented to a urinalysis and tested positive for narcotics, including opiates.
Hospital records also show between August and October 2020, no documentation was found showing a number of medications being administered to patients, including nine units of hydrocodone/acetaminophen (lorcet) 7.5; seven 50mg units of tramadol; 110 2mg units of hydromorphone (dilaudid); 26 10mg units of morphine; five 4mg units of morphine; two 2mg units of morphine; and one .25mg unit of alprazolam.
Selenky was released on a $10,000 bond and a preliminary hearing/araingment is scheduled for March 17 in a Williams County court.